Floral Park Community Endures Another Tragedy

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Boy, 9, Struck And Killed By Teen Driver, Laid to Rest

It was no ordinary rush hour last Thursday when tragedy struck once again in the Village of Floral Park. On May 12, at 6:22 p.m., 9-year-old Andrew Burrous of Floral Park was riding his bicycle alongside his mother, when he was hit and killed by a teenage driver. Hundreds of mourners poured into Our Lady of Victory Church last Friday evening to attend a prayer service for the young boy and funeral services were held on Monday.

According to Third Squad detectives, a 2004 Nissan, while traveling northbound on Plainfield Avenue, made a wide right turn onto Martha Terrace causing the driver to drive onto the sidewalk, hitting Burrous. Also struck was the victim’s mother, Kathy Burrous, 49, who was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries, treated and released. Police said Andrew Burrous was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead by a staff physician at 6:54 p.m. The 16-year-old female operator of New Hyde Park, as well as the front passenger, her mother, were not injured in the accident, police said.

Floral Park Police Commissioner Stephen McAllister stated that the teen driver only had her driving learner’s permit two weeks before the incident. McAllister stated that the driver and her mother were tested for drugs and alcohol and the vehicle’s brakes were tested. All tests were concluded to be negative and detectives report no apparent criminality at this time.

McAllister, a Floral Park resident and coach of Andrew’s soccer team, called the incident “a parent’s worst nightmare.” He described the Floral Park-Bellerose student and Cub Scout as a nice, happy-go-lucky boy who loved books.

Floral Park Mayor Thomas Tweedy, a lifelong resident of the village, rushed to the home of the family, along with the Commissioner and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynn Pombonyo, after he heard the news. “Everyone on the block told me he was a charming kid,” Tweedy added. “It’s just so sad; there aren’t words…” Tweedy said.

The Floral Park community has had to bear more than its fair share of tragic incidents in recent years. Last July, three camp counselors, Jamie Malone, 22, Paige Malone, 19, and Michael Mulhall, 22, all of Floral Park, were killed in a deadly car crash on the Meadowbrook Parkway. In July 2009, Emma, Alyson, and Kate Hance, residents of Floral Park, also perished in a car crash on the Taconic Parkway.

Despite having his community be at the forefront of so many devastating losses, Tweedy insists that there is not a black cloud over his hometown. “Floral Park is a close-knit community between our faith, our family, our friends; we just endure.

“We can’t change what happened yesterday at 6:30 p.m. and we just now have to pick up the pieces and support each other and try to find the meaning in whatever it is that has happened here and that’s what we’re challenged to do as individuals, as families and as friends,” Tweedy said.

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