Hundreds gathered at St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in Levittown Monday to bid their final farewell to 16-year-old Anthony D'Alessandro.
According to police, the Division Avenue High School student was crossing Hempstead Turnpike last Wednesday night near Division Avenue when he was hit by a 61-year old female driving a 2011 Chrysler Town & Country minivan.
He is survived by his parents Anthony and Mary D'Alessandro, brother Nicholas D'Alessandro and his grandparents Rose and Charles D'Alessandro.
St. Bernard's Rev. Gerard Ringenback described the many mourners as a true testament to just how many people D'Alessandro has touched in his young life.
"The hundreds of young people who have gathered along Hempstead Turnpike and the memorial that has been created over the last few days tells us that Anthony was a popular teenager, outgoing, with many friends," Ringenback said. "He had that forgiving nature that life was full of promise, but sadly that life has come to an end."
"This is not how things should turn out, this is not how things are meant to be," he continued. "No parent wants to bury their child and no teenager wants to see their friend or neighbor or classmate lose their life. A death like this shocks us to the core. It raises so many questions and offers too few answers. We are reminded in a very painful way that life is precious but terribly fragile."
In a release issued last week, Levittown School District Superintendent Dr. James Grossane sent his condolences to those effected by D'Alessandro's death and remembered the teen as a popular student with an outgoing spirit.
"Anthony was well-liked and respected by students throughout the school and thrived within the high school community," he said. "Staff and faculty enjoyed having him as a student due to his polite nature and outgoing character."
Monday's service was followed by burial at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale. A memorial was constructed by D'Alessandro's peers at the site of the accident just west of Division Avenue on Hempstead Turnpike.