Tag Archives: Grand Central Parkway

Police save pup struck by car on Grand Central Parkway


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 21 12:35 p.m.

One pit bull mix puppy, who found himself on the Grand Central Parkway Monday morning, proved that cats are not the only ones with extra lives thanks to help from local police.

Police Officers Melissa Mezzoiuso and George Morinia-Blocker of the 110th Precinct responded to a call at 8:21 a.m. of a “vicious dog” wandering in the westbound lane of the Grand Central Parkway, near the Long Island Expressway, according to police.

Upon getting to the scene, the officers saw the dog sitting motionless on the highway. Morinia-Blocker then maneuvered the car to keep Mezzoiuso safe as she got out of the car and went toward the puppy, who was not “vicious,” but instead scared and injured.

Photo courtesy of ASPCA

Mezzoiuso then picked up the dog, who could not move on his own, and carried him to the side of the road. The officers then placed the dog in their squad car and took him to the ASPCA office in Queens. It was then decided to take the dog to Animal Care & Control of NYC in Manhattan.

The 110th Precinct later tweeted that the almost 6-month-old dog, dubbed “Rocky” by Mezzoiuso and Morina-Blocker, had been struck by a car and had broken its leg.

The puppy has since been transferred to the ASPCA Animal Hospital in Manhattan.

According to the ASPCA, “Rocky” is resting comfortably at the hospital where he underwent surgery for the broken leg Tuesday. His fracture has since been fixed and he will continue to receive “around-the-clock care” and is expected to make a full recovery.

“We urge anyone with information about Rocky to please come forward,” an ASPCA spokeswoman said. “Thank you to the officers of the 110th Precinct who rescued a dog in need and brought him to safety at the ASPCA.”

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See it: Stay warm in this Jamaica Estates home with two fireplaces


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Michael Chambers

Even when the weather outside is frightful, this house will still be warm and delightful.

This large colonial home, built nearly a century ago, features six bedrooms and two bathrooms in about 3,000 square feet, and sits on a lot that’s more than three times its size at 175-02 Grand Central Parkway Service South. But one of its most appealing features may be its two fireplaces — one on each side of the home. The asking price is currently $985,000.

The residence is a single-family detached home, but it was built to accommodate two families — hence the double chimneys, according to broker Michael Chambers of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. There’s also a kitchen on the first floor and gas lines hooked up to the second floor for a smaller-sized kitchen.

The elderly couple selling the house has lived at the home for more than 40 years, and has kept the abode in great shape. The floors are original hardwood throughout, but there’s no creaking, even on wooden staircases.


Jamaica Estates
is known for having large-scale detached houses unique from many other neighborhoods in the borough. But it’s hard to find another property with as much land as this one has, even in neighborhoods like Jamaica Estates.

There is more than 11,100 square feet of land for this corner property, which is near St. John’s University. And because the house sits on a hill, it has a huge, partially finished basement at ground level.

The garage, which is attached to the basement, can hold two cars, and the extended driveway can fit a few more.


But besides all its amenities, the best-kept secret in this home is the attic, which is like having another full floor with nearly 12-foot-high ceilings, lots of space and 10 windows. Though the current homeowners use it for storage, Chambers believes it’s possible to transform it into another bedroom.

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Astoria man charged as serial tagger for graffiti acts


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Queens district attorney's office

An Astoria man was indicted Wednesday for allegedly tagging trees, traffic control boxes and more in the past year, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Michael Mestric was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on 19 counts of criminal mischief and 19 counts of making graffiti.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the 30-year-old “found a canvas for his tag at nearly every turn.”

Between May 2013 and April of this year, Mestric’s tag “AOE” was found spray painted on highway walls along the Grand Central Parkway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Long Island Expressway, Brown said. Mestric is also being charged for tagging control boxes, a fence, tree, and a historic observation deck at Astoria Park.

“Graffiti is not art – nor is it a victimless crime. Tagging encourages lawlessness. It leads to decreased property values and is expensive to remove,” Brown said.

The damage and cost of removing the graffiti allegedly exceeded $12,500, with the observation deck at Astoria Park alone costing more than $2,500 to repair.

If convicted, Mestric faces up to seven years in prison.

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Pedestrian struck and killed while walking on LIE


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

police car

A 38-year-old man was fatally hit by a vehicle early Wednesday morning as he was walking in the middle lane of the Long Island Expressway, cops said.

The victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was struck at about 3:15 a.m. on the westbound side of the roadway at the Grand Central Parkway near Corona, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The driver of the vehicle, a green Ford, remained at the site of the collision and the investigation is ongoing.

It was not immediately clear what the pedestrian was doing on the expressway.

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Man fatally hit on Cross Island after exiting moving vehicle, running across roadway: cops  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x416

A 54-year-old man was killed on the Cross Island Parkway Tuesday night after he exited his moving car and was struck by a van as he tried to cross the roadway, according to authorities.

At about 5:40 p.m., the victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was driving eastbound in the left lane of the Grand Central Parkway near Little Neck when he got out of his Mercedes, police said.

His car then crashed into the center median and came to a stop.

After exiting the Mercedes, the man ran across the westbound lanes of the Grand Central Parkway and attempted to cross the northbound lanes of the Cross Island Parkway, where he was struck by a Ford van, cops said.

The victim was taken to North Shore University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the van remained at the scene and the investigation is ongoing, authorities said.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the victim exited the car.

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20-year-old woman dies in Grand Central Parkway motorcycle crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic image

Updated 1:07 p.m.

A motorcyclist was injured and his passenger was killed when he lost control of his bike on the Grand Central Parkway early Tuesday morning, cops said.

The crash happened while the motorcyclist was traveling westbound on the roadway at about 4:30 a.m. just before the 94th Street exit in East Elmhurst, according to police.

The bike’s operator, a 21-year-old man, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition with injuries to his shoulder and legs.

His 20-year-old passenger, Giuseppina Lascalia of Astoria, was also taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was pronounced dead,  authorities said.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

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Man killed in two-vehicle crash on Grand Central Parkway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated 4:32 p.m.

A car crash Thursday night left a 19-year-old dead and sent three others to the hospital after a driver struck another vehicle on the Grand Central Parkway, according to police.

The accident happened at about 11:50 p.m. near Union Turnpike, cops said.

A Nissan Maxima was driving westbound in the parkway’s middle lane directly behind a Honda Accord when it attempted to change lanes and hit the side of the Honda, authorities said. The Nissan then lost control and struck the guardrail before overturning.

The driver of the Nissan, 19-year-old Andy Ramdhanie, of Holis, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three of the Honda’s occupants, a 57-year-old and 23-year-old woman, and a 20-year-old man, were taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center with minor neck and back pain.

The investigation is ongoing, cops said.

 

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125-year-old East Elmhurst flower shop blossoms next to controversial homeless shelter


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

For more than a century, one East Elmhurst family has been helping their neighborhood bloom.

Donhauser Florist, located at 71-01 Astoria Blvd., was established in 1889 by Hans Donhauser, a German florist who immigrated to the United States. While working at a Brooklyn cemetery he heard that St. Michael’s Cemetery in Queens was in need of a florist.

He then moved to East Elmhurst and built a greenhouse on 71st Street and Astoria Boulevard. After a few years, 12 more greenhouses were added and a flower shop was built on 49th Street and Astoria Boulevard.

Donhauser’s family worked at the shop, including his sons, daughters and even his great granddaughter Gladys.

“When your parents are in the business, you’re in the business,” said Gladys about working at the shop since she was 12 years old. “It’s all I’ve known.”

Donhauser Florist moved to 71-01 Astoria Blvd. and replaced one existing greenhouse, while the other 12 were later sold to become the Westway Motor Inn.

Gladys, who grew up at the house currently still standing next to the shop, has owned the store since 1977 together with her husband William Gray, who initially started working at the 49th Street shop.

Since then the Grays have been providing flower arrangements for their neighbors, some of whom they have shared first communions with and years later, weddings. William even arranged all the flowers for his own wedding.

The shop provides flowers for visitors to St. Michael’s Cemetery, located across the Grand Central Parkway, first communions, weddings and other special occasions.

However, the Grays, who have been married for 60 years, say business has been up and down ever since the city’s Department of Homeless Services decided to first use the Westway Motor Inn, located right next door, as a temporary homeless shelter.

“It was once an exquisite hotel with beautiful rooms and a pool,” Gladys said. “Since about a decade ago we started to have problems with it. People were afraid to come around the shop.”

Two weeks ago, the city approved converting the motel into a permanent homeless shelter housing more than 120 families.

Although they are nervous on how the permanent shelter will affect the community and their business, the couple continues to welcome customers with smiles on their faces.

“I hope it stays for 125 more years,” Gladys said.

 

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One dead after vehicle catches fire on Grand Central Parkway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of @FabianBuchheim

Updated Wednesday, May 28, 9:55 a.m.

One person was killed and two people were injured in a vehicle fire on the Grand Central Parkway Tuesday afternoon.

The car, a 2010 Toyota Highlander, burst into flames about 1:40 p.m. on the eastbound side of the roadway near the exit for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, cops said.

One of the passengers, identified by police as 50-year-old Dale Tulloch of Yonkers, N.Y, died in the fire. The driver, a 26-year-old man, and another passenger, a 25-year-old woman, were taken to New York Hospital Queens with minor injuries.

Officers at the scene were told that the vehicle ran over a piece of metal, which ignited the gas tank, cops said. The SUV then pulled over to the side of the parkway, where the occupants noticed smoke coming from the car, followed by flames.

The driver and the surviving passenger managed to escape before the car ignited, but the 50-year-old, who was in the backseat, did not, according to police.

The incident is still under investigation.

 

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Former Parkway Hospital will be converted to condos


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Jasper Venture Group

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

After being shuttered for six years, the site of the former Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills will be converted to a residential building.

Jasper Venture Group, a real estate investment firm, announced on May 7 that it plans to demolish the former hospital at 70-35 113th St. and construct a bigger building than the 70,000-square-feet property.

Including a parking lot, the site is more than 107,000 square feet.

The company did not release how many units the new building will have or when it is set to be complete, but said the new residential space will “breathe new life into the idle site.”

“The additional housing this project will provide when complete will be a relief to those seeking a more spacious option to the compact living New York City provides,” the company said in a release. “[T]he former Parkway Hospital will be luxurious, offering its residents a view of the lakes and their own slice of serenity.”

Parkway Hospital overlooks Grand Central Parkway and rests just outside of both Willow Lake and Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The state closed the hospital in 2008 and it has been vacant since. The hospital filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

Former Parkway CEO Robert Aquino was sentenced to four months in jail in May of 2012 after he pleaded guilty to bribing former State Senator Carl Kruger to try to keep the medical facility open.

 

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NYPD detective who fatally shot National Guardsman charged: reports


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The NYPD detective who fatally shot a National Guardsman on the Grand Central Parkway was charged in connection with the death, according to published reports.

Detective Hassan Hamdy received a departmental charge Thursday of “failing to employ proper tactics causing a civilian’s death,” when he shot 22-year-old Noel Polanco during a traffic stop in October 2012, reports said.

Sergeant Thomas Glaudino, who was responsible for Hamdy’s unit that day, was also charged with failing to supervise his team to prevent the alleged tactical mistakes, reports also said.

Polanco was pulled over when he was seen driving erratically in his car, weaving between lanes and speeding on the highway before allegedly cutting off an unmarked police vehicle. Hamdy allegedly fired the single shot that killed Polanco when he told him to put his hands on the steering wheel and Polanco reached under the seat.

In February of 2013, a Queens grand jury concluded that there would be no criminal charges filed in connection to the death of Polanco.

Two months ago, Polanco’s family reached a $2.5 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

 

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Flushing man decapitated while trying to cross Grand Central Parkway


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

A 31-year-old Flushing man was killed while crossing the Grand Central Parkway Friday night, police said.

Fidel Vidal Diaz was hit by two vehicles when he tried to cross the westbound lane of the roadway at 31st Drive, cops said. Diaz was decapitated by the crash, according to reports.

The first vehicle was a 2005 Ford Mustang and the second was a 2002 Volkswagen. Both drivers remained on the scene of the accident, cops said.

Police and EMS responded just after 11 p.m. and Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene, according to officials.

Cops are still investigating the accident.

 

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Family of slain National Guardsman reaches $2.5 million settlement in suit against city


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The family of slain National Guardsman Noel Polanco has reached a $2.5 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

“While the family of Noel Polanco does not believe justice was done on the criminal side of our legal system certainly there was a measure of justice from the civil side of our legal system with the settlement of damages for wrongful death,” Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer for Polanco’s family said.

The 22-year-old Army Reserve member was fatally shot by NYPD police officer Hassan Hamdy during a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway in October 2012.

Polanco was pulled over when he was seen driving erratically in his car, weaving between lanes and speeding on the highway before allegedly cutting off an unmarked police vehicle. Hamdy allegedly fired the single shot that killed Polanco when he told him to put his hands on the steering wheel and Polanco reached under the seat.

Last February, a Queens grand jury concluded that there would be no criminal charges filed in connection to the death of Polanco. By the end of the month, Polanco’s mother, Cecilia Reyes, announced a $20 million notice of claim to file a lawsuit against the city, NYPD and the officer who shot her son.

 

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Motorcyclist killed on Whitestone Expressway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Bronx man died Saturday after he lost control of his motorcycle and collidided into a median on the Whitestone Expressway.

The crash occurred around 10:15 a.m. as 35-year-old Jose Bosque was riding southbound on the roadway at the Grand Central Parkway, said police.

Bosque was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

 

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Two dead, four injured, driver arrested in Grand Central Parkway crash


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Vic Nicastro

Four people traveling on the Grand Central Parkway were seriously injured and two died after the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed on June 29 at about 4 a.m, cops said.

The driver of the vehicle, Queens Village resident Madosh Hansraj, has been arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter, one count of felony assault, two counts of criminally negligent homicide, illegal speed and speeding and driving while ability impaired, according to authorities.

His bail was set at $250,000, according to court records.

Hansraj, 20, lost control of the vehicle, identified as a 1996 Honda, when he tried to switch from the center lane to the right lane while traveling eastbound at high speed in the parkway, according to a police investigation. Cops said he tried to brake, which  caused the vehicle to slide off the roadway and bang into the railing.

Three of four people in the backseat were not wearing seat beats and flew through the rear window, the police said. Two of the ejected passengers, Meera Dukharan, 17, and  Anil Persaud, 18, were found dead on arrival at the scene.  The third has serious injuries. He along with the other rear passenger and a teenager in the front passenger seat have minor injuries and are now being treated at New York Hospital.

 Updated Monday, July 1

 

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