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Hempstead police crossing guard remembered with street sign

Village of Hempstead residents and town officials unveiled a new street sign at South Franklin and Grove streets Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, to honor Virginia Carol Leviner, a Hempstead Village police crossing guard who was killed Oct. 28, 2016, during her morning shift helping children from Grove Elementary School, ABGS Middle School and Hempstead High School. Leviner, known as 'Miss Carol' to the students, was hit by a tractor trailer. She was 66 and had been on the job for 28 years. (Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware)

Virginia Carol Leviner shepherded thousands of students across South Franklin and Grove streets in her 28 years as a police crossing guard in Hempstead Village. But since being struck by a tractor trailer and killed in October at the corner, her presence has been missed.

On Tuesday, village officials brought the memory of “Miss Carol” back to her beloved post, erecting signs proclaiming the intersection as “Carol Leviner’s Way.”

“She didn’t ever want to do anything but cross her kids,” said her middle daughter, Beverly Stennett, 46, of Floral Park. “You couldn’t tell her, ‘Oh Mom, I don’t think you should do it.’ ”

Leviner, 66, died on Oct. 28 after she was struck by a tractor trailer at her corner. A witness told Leviner’s husband, Tallie Leviner, that she was hit when she rushed to protect a child who was in harm’s way. No charges have been filed against the tractor trailer’s driver, Hempstead Village Deputy Police Chief Mark Matthews said.

Leviner’s husband and three daughters attended Tuesday’s ceremony along with more than 100 other relatives, fellow crossing guards and friends, many wearing red — Leviner’s favorite color — and pins with her picture, name, date of death and the words “Love you forever.”

Her daughters carried plaques with a poem about Leviner called “Our Crossing Guard Angel” that was read at their mother’s funeral.

“We are happy that her name can go on,” Stennett said.

Mayor Wayne Hall Sr. and members of the board of trustees, who last month voted to approve the naming, attended the ceremony, along with members of the police department.

“This has been a tragic blow to the entire Village of Hempstead community,” Hall said, recalling Leviner’s “service and sacrifice.”

Matthews, who was Leviner’s supervisor for years, said the village’s crossing guards are a dedicated group who face danger every day from speeding cars and texting drivers.

“She was a hero before that tragic day,” he said.

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