Teen dies after driver strikes and flees

Darwin Duranzo, 16, was killed after a hit-and-run driver struck him while he was riding his bike.

Darwin Durazno was cycling to the barbershop when he was mowed down by a sedan June 4. The driver fled the scene, leaving the 16-year-old lying on the College Point roadway with severe head trauma and his bike split in two.

Despite being rushed to the hospital, Durazno passed away three days later.

The Corona teenager is one of four cyclists who have died at the hands of traffic collisions this year, according to June 11 city Department of Transportation data.

The driver had been traveling north on College Point Boulevard near 18th Avenue and tried to overtake another car by veering to the left and crossing the double yellow lines, police said. As the driver entered the southbound lane driving against traffic, he or she struck Durazno head on.

After hitting the Corona teenager, the driver continued down the boulevard without stopping before turning off onto eastbound 15th Avenue. The car was discovered by police in front of the College Point Post Office, just a few blocks from the scene of the crime.

The driver is still at large.

Durazno, a Benjamin Cardozo High School student, leaves behind his parents Darwin and Marisol, older brother Anthony and little sister Allison.

A GoFundMe was established to support the funeral arrangements. In its first day, it surpassed its $5,000 goal. To donate, visit gofund.me/165524f3.

“Our leaders need to treat traffic deaths like the public health epidemic it is,” Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris said in a June 10 statement, hours before the state legislative session was slated to close. “If Albany closes this session without delivering this cure for traffic deaths, more New Yorkers will die.”

The Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act Harris was referring to, however, never advanced from the state Assembly. The package of eight bills would lower some speed limits in New York City, allow cameras to operate here at all times, lower the blood alcohol content limit for driving while intoxicated from 0.08 percent to 0.05 and more.

This year has been the deadliest for traffic collisions since 2014. A DOT report found 106 pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, motor vehicle occupants and others have died so far in 2021. 

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