Cops: Amityville Teen Killed By Drunken Driver

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS / WCBS 880) — A heartbroken Long Island mother had an angry message for the accused drunk driver who police say killed her teen daughter as she walked home from volunteering.

“He’s a murderer,” Yolanda Silvera said.

Filled with anger and heartbreak, the family of 18-year-old Tynielle Silvera struggled into court. The life of their loving, vibrant, gifted daughter had just been snuffed out by an alleged drunk driver, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

“What can they get out of a bottle?” Silvera said. “My child had so much promise. She graduated with a 94 average. She wanted to be a lawyer.”

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera talks to the distraught family

After receiving her honors diploma from Law and Government High School, Tynielle was volunteering as a tutor. 

She returned to Amityville on the Long Island Rail Road on Wednesday. Police said she was walking home when she was mowed down by Kenneth Serwan, a 44-year-old father of three and volunteer soccer coach from Lindenhurst.

“She wouldn’t have stepped out into the street unless it was clear. I can’t imagine the speed he was coming in,” Silvera said. “And he works with kids. If he works with kids, why is he not more responsible?”

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

Police are investigating whether the light was red or green along Sunrise Highway. It was dark when Tynielle was struck in the crosswalk, and police said the driver appeared intoxicated.

“When you put a drink to your mouth and you don’t know your limitations – you did this to my child, you did this to my child deliberately,” Silvera said. “He needs to be put away – he shouldn’t even be arraigned, he should be hung.”

Tynielle’s mother collapsed from emotion, and had to be carried from the courtroom.

“Drink and drive, it’s a tragedy for this family during the Christmas season,” Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Robert Edwards said. “She appears to be a good kid from a very nice family.”

Tynielle was just half a mile from home when she lost her life. Her family plans to bury her in her native Jamaica.

Serwan’s blood alcohol tests are pending. His attorney, Joel Salinger, declined to comment.

Serwan pleaded not guilty, and was being held on $100,000 cash bail. His wife and children did not attend the court proceedings.

More from Hazel Sanchez
  • Frank

    FIVE days later and still no BAC level of driver available? How many have to suffer because we allow any alcohol consumption & driving. No level of drugs are acceptable in a person’s system with driving, why do we allow alcohol? Not everyone is impaired at .08%. Some people can’t tolerate 1-2 drinks before they are considered “impaired”. I’m so sorry for this families’ loss and all those who potentially will become victims over the holidays. Take a cab, save a life.

  • micha henriquez

    I miss you I knew her I hate guy killed her she was a sweet person.I love you. You are angel in my life.

  • Michael Edwards

    run weh fake mumma and let the real mother Denise Wilson take yolanda are and is an abuser to the kids that were left in your care by there so call father troy.

  • honorroll

    I am so sorry for the loss of this beautiful, vibrant young women.
    May the Good Lord keep her soul, andwatch over her family, and give provide them with strength during this horrible time.

  • honorroll

    BangZoom:You are a disguisting for saying something like that you animal.

  • anieka

    tynielle the family loves u and we miss u.

  • elizabeth

    I’ve had a good relationship with Tynielle which makes this so disheartening. I miss her so much. This entire tragedy proves more so that God only takes the best.

    • anieka

      this b jus took away my big sis life. well me goin tek weh his own to so him family beta be prepared. him goin go to hell when i done with him . love u tynielle miss u 2

      • Sherida

        Tynielle was always sweet and pleasant and every one always gravitated towards her and i know she was a good sister and friend, well now she’s watching them from above, tynielle i miss u, wish we spent more time together and that i knew you more angel.

  • Justin Arvelo

    The boyfriend is one of my good friends from school. He is in pain, mourning the loss of his future wife.May God bless her and may she rest peacefully.

  • The Good Samaritan

    SC thanks for the info.

    The Good Samaritan appreciates it

    • anieka

      who is tht gud samaritan

  • Linda Morris-Jackson

    This intersection is right outside of Sunrise Mall. She had a right to cross or walk where ever she chiose. Pedestrians have the right away! May her soul rest in peace!

  • ann

    My heart goes out to the mother and Family of this beautiful life so tragically taken away by this person whose carelessness and disregard for others to get behind the wheel of a moving vehicle in the first place like that,I lost my son back in January , hit head on by another vehicle and the driver of that car has yet to be charged,I know the mothers pain as a mother who has lost a child also, and send my love and prayers and hugs and hope in time you find some peace in your heart and mind <3

  • renee

    Was the driver a police officer? Seems to be happening quite a bit these days!

  • Ms Silvera's Student

    well i can see that many are very ignorant. its a shame that a young life like hers had to be taken away by a reckless drunk driver. Dont you think how much this has to hurt her mother? i know who she is. her mother, a very proud English teacher from the school in the bronx, Alfred E Smith VTHS. She was my teacher and her daughter an extremely bright young girl. one who was to become a lawyer who made her mother extremely proud of her achievements. this is a shame that many critize the young girl for crossing that high way it was her only way to her house and is crossed by many. it is the driver of the vehicle who should be ridiculed for make the worst decisions and taking away the life of a young, brilliant, talanted girl. thik of what Ms. Silvera has to go through she lost 2 relatives not so long ago now she lost her daughter to some idiot. well my heart feels the pain.

    • Dawn

      Ms. Silvera’s is not Tynielles mother, she is her step mother, Denise Wilson is her mother and Denise look after her children 100% she travelled four to five times per year to be with her daughters, she even send money every month to yolanda to support her daughters so please get your facts straight

    • anieka

      she is not the mother she is her step mother. i would know tht because i am her sister

  • James Valler

    Just another good reason why we should ban all tobacco products.

  • jim

    let those without sin cast the first stone

  • JohnL

    dont’t be mean to the young girl. Have you ever walk on sunrise HWY.. There isn’t any sidewalk. The LIRR side is grass and dirt.. And the bus stop of Franny lou, its a dirt stop, not a bus stop.. And don’t forget it was rainning pretty bad on Wed.. The Long Island country should lok into that..Maybe better sidewalk would of save this girls live and even more….

    • Ffrank

      This is NOT about lack of sidewalks, bus stops, or the weather. This is about someone who drank too much alcohol and chose to get behind the wheel of his automobile and killed a beautiful young life, period. Alcohol & drug driving related tragedies are getting worse, not better, despite stiffer penalties and public awareness. With the holiday season upon us, more people will get behind the wheel drunk/drugged not with the intention of hurting anyone, but because they are impaired, their ability to make smart decisions will be impacted. If you are with someone who’s had too much to drink or popping a few pills, smoked some weed etc… do whatever it takes to keep them off the road. I’d rather have someone angry at me than attending funerals.

    • anieka

      you is a real idiot. a blind yuh blind. there are side walks there. its jus tht he was drunk.

  • saywhat

    To: BANG ZOOM…it must be lonely down there in the stock room. Come up for air every now and then, o.k.?

  • David Flores

    now if this would have happened to my daughter or wife or any relative, man oh man would i tear it up. wipe this guy and all his own to hell and back. show no mercy at all. payback is sweet and all mine. we need to make examples of losers like these. no mercy at all none none none

    • anieka

      if u feel like tht imagine how i feel cause im her lilest sis

  • David Flores

    justice system in the usa sucks, its a joke, look at the oj murders etc, this only happens in such a liberal society. laws and rules mean nothing. 2 different levels of justice, for the rich and for the poor

  • Frank

    It appears that no matter how severe the penalties continue to increase for driving while impaired, people continue to drive drunk and slaughter victims. What do you think the answer to this ongoing epidemic should be?

    • Steve

      Take away their cars. It was done once and should be done again!

      • Frank

        Steve, believe it or not, the law confiscating an individual’s vehicle if they have a BAC of .08% or higher hasn’t been changed, its just not enforced in most cases. The newest law in effect is the mandatory instillation of an ignition lock device that is triggered by blowing into a tube like device that can detect alcohol in the bloodstream and prevent the automobile from starting. Apparently, this device can’t save this young girls life at this point. Maybe ALL new vehicles should have a device installed as a standard feature that prevents an auto from starting if one’s BAC is over .08%. Unfortunately, nobody really gets that involved in creating effective alcohol/drug laws till it affects them personally. Drunk/drugged driving SHOULD be personal to all of us.

  • SC

    To those asking why she was walking down the side of the highway, she was simply crossing the street. There is a school right at that intersection and a crosswalk. so sad.

  • speaking picture

    Elmos roadside woodsercise wasn’t quite enough so Yoda added a little walk?
    (Thanksgiving Turkey)



  • Steve

    They need to bring back the law that allowed police to confiscate their cars. Not only does that stop these dwi guys from not having a car to kill again, but also hits them where it really hurts – in the pocket! I don’t know why this was stopped.

  • The Good samaritan

    Very terrible throw the book at this guy.

    One question why would someone walk on the Sunrise HIghway?

    The Good Samaritan has spoken.

    • Bang Zoom

      People walk on Sunrise Hwy to get run down by drunk drivers. It happens all the time. Some like to drive drunk and others like to get hit by cars.

      • SeanJ

        bang zoom your dead wrong for saying that maybe you should take a walk down sunrise highway …. if that was what you had to cross to get home maybe you would understand that , that’s the only way to get home if you don’t drive and your home was on the other side

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