Yonkers, NY – Yonkers Police Department (YPD) Sergeant Frank Gualdino died in the line of duty on Thursday evening after an unlicensed teenage driver crashed into his patrol vehicle.
The 53-year-old sergeant was driving his unmarked Chevrolet Impala westbound on Tuckahoe Road at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 when the driver of an eastbound BMW M5 lost control and veered over into oncoming traffic near the Sprain Brook Parkway, WABC reported.
The BMW slammed into Sgt. Gualdino’s patrol vehicle, as well as a Westchester County Bee-Line bus carrying approximately 30 passengers.
Several of the bus riders were treated at the scene for minor injuries, WABC reported.
The bus driver also suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash.
The driver behind the wheel of the BMW was a 16-year-old male who only had a learner’s permit, WABC reported.
He was alone in the car, according to police.
The teen was rushed to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition on Friday.
Sgt. Gualdino was transported to Jacobi Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries, WABC reported.
He served the YPD for 24 years.
“You have a 16-year-old unlicensed driver in a fast sports car, somehow this became weaponized in a sports car,” Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza told WNYW. “This isn’t a routine traffic accident. This is a 16-year-old kid driving recklessly and as a result someone has died.”
The investigation into the fatal crash remains ongoing, according to police.
“Our hearts are broken tonight and we ask that you please keep the Sergeant’s family in your thoughts and prayers,” the YPD told WABC in a statement.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said Sgt. Gualdino’s death marked “a time for mourning” for the entire city, according to WABC.
“We lost a member of our family, we lost a member of our law enforcement community and the men and women in this department are hurting,” Spano said.
Commissioner Sapienza said Sgt. Gualdino was more than just a fellow officer – he was also a personal friend, WNYW reported.
“Frank was a great guy,” Commissioner Sapienza said. “He was an asset to this job. He was a credit to this job and he was a credit to the community and this is a tragic, tragic loss for us.”
Sgt. Gualdino joined the YPD in 1998 and was serving as supervisor of the agency’s traffic unit at the time of his death, WNYW reported.
He was planning to retire in August of next year.
Sgt. Gualdino leaves behind his wife and two children, WNYW reported.
We stand with our @YonkersPD brothers & sisters as they mourn the loss of Sergeant Frank Gualdino, who was tragically killed in a vehicle collision yesterday. He leaves behind a wife & two children.
Our prayers & deepest condolences are with his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/Os1Y5mnsIC
— NYPD 100th Precinct (@NYPD100Pct) December 2, 2022
New York Sergeant Frank Gualdino was killed in a vehicle collision when his unit was struck by an unlicensed teenage driver. #rip #hero #eow #SergeantFrankGualdino #YonkersPoliceDepartment #thinblueline #bluelivesmatter #backtheblue #police #protectingtheblue #becarefuloutthere pic.twitter.com/ZIz8uzlVoe
— Protecting the Blue (@protectingblue) December 2, 2022
Sgt. Frank Gualdino lost his life yesterday in an on-duty motor vehicle crash in the city he protected these last 24 years.
— Westchester County PD (@WCPDNY) December 2, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Yonkers Police Department Sergeant Frank Gualdino, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.