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Veteran police sergeant just nine months off retirement killed by learner driver
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Veteran police sergeant just nine months off retirement killed by learner driver

Yonkers Police Department's Frank Gualdino was killed in a multi-vehicle collision on Thursday 1 December

A veteran police sergeant in the US has been killed by a learner driver, just nine months before he was due to retire.

Sergeant Frank Gualdino, 53, was killed in a multi-vehicle crash in New York on Thursday 1 December, having succumbed to his injuries after being transported to Jacobi Medical Center.

The married dad of two was on duty and driving an unmarked car in Yonkers when a BMW M5 being driven by a 16-year-old learner driver crossed into oncoming traffic, first striking Gualdino’s vehicle, and then a Westchester County Bee-Line bus.

Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza said no one with a valid driver’s licence was in the BMW at the time of the crash, also saying the teen driver – who had received his learner’s permit just three weeks ago – appeared to be speeding.

Sergeant Frank Gualdino.
Yonkers Police Department

The unlicensed driver – who has not been named as he is a minor - was transported to a hospital in critical condition with serious blunt force injuries.

The bus driver was also hurt in the incident, but their injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.

Sapienza paid tribute to Gualdino, who had been with Yonkers Police for 24 years, having served as a supervisor assigned to the Traffic Unit.

Just last month, he was also recognised for saving the life of a three-year-old child while on a funeral detail.

"Frank was the victim of a horrible motor vehicle accident that occurred yesterday," Sapienza said.

"He was a personal friend, and he was an asset to this job. He was credited his job and he was a credit to the community. And this is a tragic, tragic loss for us."

Yonkers Police Department released dashcam footage of the incident.
Yonkers Police Department

Mayor Mike Spano described Gualdino’s death as an ‘insurmountable loss’ to the City of Yonkers.

“Sgt. Frank Gualdino was a cop's cop and the epitome of Yonkers Finest," he said, adding: "Yonkers is a close, tight-knit community, and when we lose one member of our law enforcement community, we all feel a sense of grief.

"Frank was someone we all know and loved."

Gualdino was hired by Yonkers Police in 1998 and was set to retire in nine months.

As his body was transported from the hospital overnight, officers stood at full salute in tribute to the veteran sergeant.

Yonkers Police Department said in a statement: "The accident remains under active investigation, including the potential for criminal charges. Additional information may be released as it becomes available."

Topics: US News, Police