Neighbors Of Paramedic Killed In S.I. Collision Mourn ‘Huge Loss’
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two families are in mourning after a horrible crash on Staten Island that involved an ambulance and SUV.
Flowers sit outside the Willowbrook home of 58-year-old David Restuccio, who was killed in the devastating crash Monday night, while doing a job he loved.
Neighbor Bernice Halprin knew Restuccio since he was 11 years old.
“People who know David will be really heart broke and he’ll be missed,” Halprin told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Restuccio, a retired EMS lieutenant for the FDNY, answered the call on September 11th. He was again, helping someone in need working as a paramedic for Staten Island University Hospital when police said 20-year-old Benjamin Budzaku, speeding in a BMW, crossed a median and slammed into the ambulance Restuccio was driving.
Both men were killed by the impact on Hylan Blvd. off Seacrest Ave.
Michael Hagai, 31, has known Restuccio his whole life, and rented an apartment in his home.
“It’s a huge loss,” he said. “He embraced everyone around him. That was his nature.”
Restuccio leaves behind two grown sons, twin grandchildren, and a fiance he proposed to just four months ago.
“Everyone was so happy for him because he was like starting a new life and now this tragedy and we’re all devastated,” said Halprin.
Friends and family at the home Benjamin Budzaku shared with his parents asked for privacy, saying he was an only child who will be missed.
Police are waiting for toxicology reports from the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine what may have caused Benjamin Budzaku to lose control of his BMW.
Meanwhile the families of both men who died are planning their funerals.
The other paramedic injured in the accident was treated at the hospital and released. The patient who was in the ambulance is still in the hospital.
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