An 18-year-old graduate of Connetquot High School died yesterday afternoon after his car slammed into a utility pole in Ronkonkoma - not far from where another crash killed a Connetquot student in July, police said.
Just before 1 p.m., Jayson Giles, of Calvert Avenue, was driving north on Ocean Avenue in Ronkonkoma when he lost control of his red 2004 Dodge Neon, Suffolk police said.
Witnesses told police they saw the car traveling at a high rate of speed before it left the northbound lane, and crossed both the center turn lane and the oncoming southbound lane before striking the pole.
"Apparently it went slightly airborne, about five or six feet off the ground, and then hit the utility pole," said Sgt. Daniel Molloy of the Suffolk County Fifth Squad. Molloy said police are still investigating and any witnesses should call 631-854-8552.
Giles was pronounced dead at the scene by the Suffolk County medical examiner's office.
The accident occurred on the same road just a quarter-mile south of where a one-car crash killed another 2008 Connetquot graduate, Stan Hartnett, 18, in July. He hit a tree after losing control of his car.
Giles' mother, Tamara Giles, in an interview, said her son was a graduate of Connetquot High School, where he played lacrosse. He was attending Suffolk County Community College at night, taking business courses, but was considering opening up his own auto-body shop. She said he was working at such a shop close to the where the accident occured.
"He loved working there," she said. "It paid for his car, which he loved."
She said her son had played lacrosse with Hartnett, a co-captain of the high school's lacrosse team, since middle school. "I can't believe it happened in almost the same spot."
Giles said she wanted people to donate to the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.
Friends and classmates remembered Giles as a warm and popular student who loved tinkering with his SRT4, a turbocharged version of the Dodge Neon.
"He loved working on cars, working with his hands," said family friend Elisa Troucchio, 23, of Ronkonkoma.
Troucchio recalled Giles as a high-energy presence who was popular with girls. "He always had girls calling him," she said. "He was cute, but it was his personality."
Another classmate, Andrew Grogan, 17, of Ronkonkoma, said that in addition to his mechanical gifts, Giles was also a talented artist, and he loved to doodle during a car repair class they had together.
"He was always drawing, graffiti to be exact. He was actually really good at it," Grogan said.
No information was available on funeral arrangements.