YONKERS, N.Y. (PIX11) — Yonkers officials had been withholding, until all next of kin had been notified, the name of the police veteran who lost his life on Thursday when a driver rammed into the officer’s police vehicle at a high speed. On Friday morning, officials identified Sgt. Frank Gualdino, 53, and talked about his outstanding career and his warm personality.
“We all know Frank,” Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza said at a late morning news conference at police headquarters. “Frank was a close friend, and he was a cop’s cop. This is the most horrible loss that we’ve sustained.”
The police department also released dashcam video of the crash that happened on Tuckahoe Road at the Sprain Brook Parkway overpass, around 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Sapienza narrated the ten-second clip.
“The suspect vehicle [was] traveling at a high rate of speed. It slid across the double yellow line” where Gualdino was driving, alone in his police vehicle, police said, next to a Bee-Line bus. The car that drove into oncoming traffic hit both Gualdino’s vehicle and the bus.
“You have a 16-year-old with a learner’s permit, without a drivers license, driving at an extreme high rate of speed in a very fast car,” Sapienza said. “It was a BMW M5,” the commissioner added, “that he apparently couldn’t handle.”
Some of the 30 passengers on the bus sustained minor injuries. The 16-year-old BMW driver is in critical condition, and the car he was driving belonged to his family, police said.
They said that the crash severely injured Gualdino, who was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.
Gualdino leaves behind a wife and two adult children.
The 24-year veteran was preparing to retire nine months from now, according to the commissioner.
He also said that Gualdino, who was a supervisor in the traffic unit of the department showed heroism many times, including when he was on his police traffic unit motorcycle in October, leading a funeral detail.
Along the route, said Sapienza, “a 3-year-old boy became unconscious, and [Gualdino] broke off from the funeral detail, and rushed this kid to the hospital and saved his life. That’s the kind of guy Frank was.”
Sapienza and Mayor Mike Spano said that a funeral with full honors is being planned for Gualdino.