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Mourners remember Bethpage skateboarder

Oleksandr Safronov, 15, of Bethpage, was struck and

Oleksandr Safronov, 15, of Bethpage, was struck and killed by a car in Syosset. (Nov. 7, 2011) Photo Credit: Handout

A 15-year-old boy who was struck by a car and killed Sunday while skateboarding was remembered by mourners Monday as a vibrant youth who touched many lives.

Oleksandr Safronov, 15, a sophomore at Bethpage High School, was pronounced dead at Syosset Hospital a half-hour after he was hit at about 1:05 p.m. Sunday as he and his friend skated southbound on South Oyster Bay Road just south of Parkfield Court North in Syosset, police said. "It's very bad," said his grandmother Nelli Safronova, 59. "In this situation it's not very good."

Police said the 32-year-old driver of a 2002 Chevrolet Impala struck Safronov, who then collided with his friend.

His friend, 15, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital with a fractured ankle, police said.

The driver was not injured. His vehicle was impounded for a safety check, police said. The driver was not held and the investigation is continuing.

At Safronov's home, a woman who answered the door was too distraught to talk. Still, with tears in her eyes, she allowed Safronov's younger brother, Maxim, 9, to show a picture of his big brother to visitors.

Throughout the day, friends and family streamed in and out of the house, some wiping tears from their eyes.

In addition to being a good student, Safronov was described as someone whose "life deeply touched his fellow students, teachers and staff members at Bethpage High School," said Bethpage School District Superintendent Terrence Clark in a statement issued Monday.

Counselors and teachers met with Safronov's friends Monday to offer comfort, according to Clark's statement.

Safronov had been working on stage design for the upcoming school production of "A Christmas Carol." He was a member of the school's junior varsity volleyball team and a Marine Fitness participant.

At the busy four-lane section of South Oyster Bay Road where the teenager was struck, Alex Depena, 23, of Syosset, stared down, shaking his head at two bouquets of marigolds that someone dropped off earlier at the strip of pavement where Safronov landed.

He said he saw Safronov and his friend moments before they were hit.

Depena said he saw Safronov just before he was hit by the car doing skateboard tricks with his friend.

"It just goes to show you how fast things happen," Depena said. "One second you're here, the next, poof."

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