Teen driver avoids jail time for 2022 crash that killed a Yonkers police officer

Yonkers Police Sgt. Frank Gualdino's widow read a statement outside of Yonkers Police Headquarters next to her two kids and more than 100 department members.

Jonathan Gordon

Jun 13, 2024, 8:57 PM

Updated 35 days ago

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A teenager accused of recklessly driving his father’s BMW, killing a Yonkers police sergeant in a crash in 2022, was sentenced to two years probation and 480 hours of community service.
Yonkers Police Sgt. Frank Gualdino's widow read a statement outside of Yonkers Police Headquarters next to her two kids and more than 100 department members.
"My husband lost his life because of the reckless actions of this driver, my children lost their father, a community lost a dedicated public servant," she said. "In a situation like this that involves someone being killed and lives changed forever, there should be more serious consequences."
On Dec. 1, 2022, Gualdino, 53, was on duty driving westbound on Tuckahoe Road at the Sprain Brook Parkway overpass when the 16-year-old driver was speeding eastbound. Video released by the Yonkers Police Department shows the driver swerving around traffic, losing control of the car, crossing the double-yellow line and smashing into Gualdino's car and a Westchester Bee-Line bus.
Gualdino was killed while the driver and several passengers on the bus were injured.
Investigators said the teen was driving with only a learner's permit.
The Westchester District Attorney's Office initially indicted the teen in October 2023 on one count of criminally negligent homicide but the case was sealed and moved to Family Court in November.
Gualdino's widow, members of law enforcement and elected officials railed against the 2018 Raise the Age legislation that stopped New York from automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.
"Where's the justice for them [the family]?" retired Yonkers Police Detective Dennis Mullin said. "They don't have a father, they're missing out on every Christmas, New Year's and birthdays. They missed out on a graduation, missed out on an anniversary."
A Westchester District Attorney's Office spokesperson declined to comment because the case was not in their jurisdiction. A spokesperson for the Westchester County attorney, which oversees family court cases, said they also could not comment because the case was sealed in family court.
The teen's attorney, David Louis Cohen told News 12 in a statement: "The loss of Sgt. Gualdino was and still is impacting his wife, children and friends. No words can express or in any way diminish the impact his loss had on the entire family. His wife’s words were heartfelt and were received by my client. While the word ‘sorry’ does not express the feelings of my client, he does have remorse and admits he did wrong. He is and has always been aware of the consequences of his actions and regrets them to this day. Hopefully, the services he will receive through the Probation Department will enable my client to lead a productive life."
Gualdino's widow has an ongoing lawsuit against the driver and his father. Four other people who were injured on the bus in the crash have also filed lawsuits.


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