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Teen killed by taxi at high point in life

Photo of Jeffrey Ahn, Jr., 17, who was

Photo of Jeffrey Ahn, Jr., 17, who was killed in Amagansett. (June 23, 2012). Photo Credit: Handout

A Manhattan teenager was struck and killed by a taxicab in Amagansett Saturday afternoon as he walked with friends along Old Stone Highway on his way to spend the weekend with his parents at the family's vacation home.

Jeffrey Ahn Jr., 17, who was to be a senior this fall at the Trinity School in Manhattan, was taken to Southampton Hospital where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

Ahn, his girlfriend and two friends had just left the Amagansett Long Island Rail Road station for the mile walk to the home, his father, Jeffrey Ahn, said Sunday.

"He could have called [his] mother, but he is the kind of person who didn't want to burden anybody," Jeffrey Ahn said.

About 1 p.m. as the four walked along the side of the two-lane country road and were nearing the house, East Hampton Police said, a 2004 Ford van driven by Lindy's Taxi driver Ladislav Smigura, struck Ahn Jr.

Ahn's father said police told him the group was walking single file along the road, and his son had been walking second to last in the group when he was hit from behind. His girlfriend, who was walking behind him, sustained barely a scratch, Ahn said.

"I don't know how a car can come from behind and hit this boy who was in the middle of the pack, walking in a single line," he said.

Police did not provide details on the crash or whether charges would be filed against Smigura. It was not known if Ahn's two friends were injured.

Smigura, who said he had been driving a taxi in the Hamptons since 2009, said his van was empty and he was on the way to pick up a fare when the crash occurred. He said he saw the group and tried to avoid it, but that Ahn had gotten in his way and was hit by his vehicle's mirror. He said that after the collision, he immediately stopped and called 911.

"There is no space to walk," he said of the stretch of the 30-mph road where the crash occurred.

Police asked anyone with information about the crash to call them at 631-537-7575.

At the time of his death, Jeffrey Ahn Jr. had everything going for him, his father said. The teen was earning straight As in school, enjoying time with his girlfriend and pursuing many interests. He had completed demanding stem-cell research at Columbia University Medical Center, his father said.

He also was the manager of his school's wrestling team.

"He was the kind of person that took pleasure not in competing and beating other people, but of being the manager of the team," his father said. "He passed away at the happiest moment of his life."

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