Long Island Boy Struck and Killed on the Way to SchoolDec 12, 2014
A 12-year-old Valley Stream boy was struck and killed Thursday on his way to school by a driver with a suspended license, Nassau County police say.
Zachary Ranftle, a seventh-grader at Memorial Junior High School, was on the southeast corner of South Franklin Avenue and West Merrick Road, at 7:17 a.m., crossing west onto South Franklin when he was hit at 7:17 a.m. by a GMC Yukon driven by Austin Soldano, 29, of Seaford, Newsday reports. Ranftle was taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, where he was pronounced dead at 8:10 a.m., police said.
Zachary's grandmother, Evelyn Ranftle, said, "I can't believe this is happening. I keep telling myself he's with his father now." Zachary’s father, Walter, died in 2006. Evelyn Rantfle described her grandson as "a very happy boy, very smart." He was in the Boy Scouts and played on Little League teams.
The Valley Stream Central High School District said grief counselors would be made available at the school, according to Newsday.