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Pizzeria manager mourns deliveryman killed in W. Babylon crash

Carlos Mora, 49, of Babylon, was killed in

Carlos Mora, 49, of Babylon, was killed in a crash Wednesday.   Credit: Gino's Pizza

A beloved pizza deliveryman killed on the job Wednesday was remembered by his boss as a longtime friend, hardworking and "always smiling."

Carlos Mora, 49, of Babylon died when his car was struck head-on by an SUV driven by a motorist on a suspended license, Suffolk County police said. The crash happened at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on Bergen Avenue in West Babylon. Mora had been working for Gino’s Pizza of Babylon at the time, authorities said.

Dave Astarita, a manager at Gino’s, said Mora was a full-time employee of the pizzeria for 10 years. "He was a great worker; never late. He was the best employee I ever had," Astarita said. 

“If I was mopping the floor, he’d kick the mop out of my hand and do it for me,” Astarita said. “He was my right-hand man.” 

Mora was studying physical therapy in the hopes of starting a new career, Astarita said. He added that Mora “took good care of himself,” eating healthy and exercising daily.

Mora was making a delivery while behind the wheel of a 2015 Toyota Prius when it was struck by a 2012 Jeep Liberty driven by Michelle Cordovano, police said.

Cordovano’s Liberty was headed north on Bergen Avenue but then “crossed into the southbound lane” immediately before the collision, police said.

Astarita said he began to worry when a customer called to say they still hadn’t received their food.

“I thought to myself, ‘Carlos is taking a long time for this delivery. What’s up with that?’” Astarita said. “A second later, the phone rang, and it was the police saying he got into an accident.”

Mora was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic from West Babylon Rescue Ambulance, police said. A physician assistant from the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office also responded to the crash, officials said.

Police said Cordovano, 28, of West Babylon, and a female passenger were treated at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip for injuries that were not considered life threatening.

Cordovano was charged with driving on a suspended license and will appear at a later date in First District Court in Central Islip to answer the charge, authorities said. It was not immediately clear if she was represented by an attorney.

“He was a very loved employee, friends with everyone,” Astarita said of Mora. “Yesterday was a tough day. It’s still a tough day today and it’s going to be tough for a little while. We’re hurting right now.”

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