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Queens Chronicle

Van kills teen, Tenzin Drudak, on LIC sidewalk

Four others hurt as vehicle jumps curb

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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:15 am, Thu Mar 21, 2013.

One teenager was killed and four other pedestrians injured by a red minivan that swerved onto the sidewalk across the street from LaGuardia Community College on Monday morning, police said.

The victim, 16-year-old Elmhurst resident Tenzin Drudak, was approaching the corner of 30th Street and Thompson Avenue when the driver of a 2002 Dodge Caravan lost control and jumped the curb, striking Drudak and four LGCC students who were left injured. 

The minivan dragged Drudak, a sophomore at Applied Communications High School on the LGCC campus, across the sidewalk and left him on the curb covered in blood, police said. Others on the sidewalk managed to escape the path of the out-of-control vehicle.

Ambulance workers unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate Drudak.

The five victims were immediately rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, where Drudak was pronounced dead. The four others who were injured are in stable condition, police said. 

“It all happened so fast,” said Ramiz Shehatta, a halal food vendor who witnessed the incident from across the street. “I remember seeing blood everywhere.”

Shehatta said it seemed like the driver tried to push the brake pedal once the car jumped the curb but might have pushed the gas pedal instead. 

Police officials have not released the name of the 36-year-old driver, but said he was driving an uninsured car and was issued a summons after the incident. 

The driver lost control of his vehicle after reaching for a carton of milk he dropped, police said. He was not arrested but the crash is pending further investigation.

Following the incident, Applied Communications High School posted a statement addressing Drudak’s death, offering counseling support for students grieving his death.

“We are all saddened at the sudden loss of one of our wonderful youngsters,” the statement posted outside of the school said.

Drudak, who was born in Tibet, was interested in hip-hop culture, basketball, fashion and rap music, according to his Facebook profile. 

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