Remembering the Lives Lost During the 1989 Coldenham Tragedy
32 years ago this week, tragedy struck an Orange County Elementary school.
On November 16th, 1989 a tornado touched down and struck East Coldenham Elementary School in Newburgh, New York. Reports from that day 32 years ago explain that the tornado struck a glass wall in the cafeteria where over 100 first, second and third grade students were eating lunch.
Valley Central School District shared on their website that at the time of the destructive weather event the Principal at the time "Harvey Gregory was joined by teachers, custodians and other staff members who immediately got children out of the cafeteria, telling those that could move to run, and going through the rubble to find the others. " They add that on that November day in 1989, 200 first responders arrived on the scene and began a 7 hour search in the rubble.
Sadly, 7 children died that day while 2 others passed away shortly after at the hospital. 18 others were reportedly injured. 1 other child passed away in a car accident after a driver was distracted by the destruction at the elementary school.
We remember those young lives lost at East Coldenham Elementary School: