FREDONIA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The flaming beverages were too hot to handle. A Hamburg teen isat ECMC with severe burns suffered from a spill at an off-campusparty in Fredonia.
SUNY Fredonia officials want to make it clear that this did nothappen on-campus, nor did it happen as a direct result of a SUNYFredonia student. However, it did happen right across the streetfrom the SUNY campus. There are still beer cans and cups litteringthe front lawn.
SUNY Fredonia students live at the house on Temple Street and onSaturday afternoon had a party with at least 20 people. Accordingto Fredonia Police, a 20-year-old named Joshua Benton from theAlbany area used a lighter to ignite some 160 proof vodka. It endedup shooting flames over to a couch and burning an 18-year-oldFredonia student named Patrick Bettder and more seriously burning18-year-old Taylor Meckley of Hamburg. She is about to graduatefrom a beauty school but is now at ECMC with second and thirddegree burns.
This happened on the same day as Fred Fest, the alcohol-free endof school party that resulted in nearly 60 people beingarrested.
SUNY Fredonia spokesman Michael Barone said, "Someone made justa very bad decision. The matter is under investigation with thevillage of Fredonia Police, but from what we've been told so far,the person who is believed to be responsible for this is also not aFredonia student. None of this makes this any better. Obviously, wefeel very badly that this happened."
Sgt. Phil Maslak of the Fredonia Police said, "Charges areimminent. The case has actually been forwarded to the DistrictAttorney here in Chautauqua County and he's reviewing it at thistime. He's supposed to let us know tomorrow what he'd like us topersue as far as charges go."
Meckley is in the burn unit at ECMC with burns over 45 percentof her body.
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