Glendale Man, Michael Messina, Struck and Killed While Riding His Scooter on Cooper Avenue

Michael Messina blog 2Update – 4-13-16

21-year-old Michael Messina was struck and killed wile riding his scooter on Cooper Avenue at 73 Street, near the Cooper Avenue underpass in Glendale at 3:30 Saturday morning, April 9th. Sources say a man driving an Acura that apparently struck the scooter Messina was riding had traces of alcohol in his system, but not enough to warrant an arrest at the scene. Michael, a Glendale resident, worked at Diner 21 Restaurant on 21st Street at 27th Avenue in Astoria. He worked his way from delivery man to waiter to chef and was apparently on his way to an ownership interest in the popular eatery. Messina was a favorite son at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Astoria for years, where he was the Youth of The Year at the club when he was 17-years-old. Ralph Triunfo, a board member at VBGC said, “Michael was so well known at the club he really was the face of the program here.”

According to Nu Moore, Elementary School Program Coordinator at the Club, Michael continued to help at the club and was, in fact, at the club helping out on Friday. “Words can not express the sadness in our family here at the club. He was such a big part of our staff. Our kids loved Michael. We are all distraught about this,” she said.

Family and friends held a vigil for Michael at the Variety Boys & Girls Club on 21 St. at 30 Rd. in Astoria Monday night, April 11th. Hundreds of club members aged 7 through 17 were on hand with tears and hugs for support. “Michael was so important to to so many of us, it’s hard to imagine he’s gone,” said one staffer who spoke at the vigil. Fifty balloons were released at 8PM for Michael.

Hundreds of club members and staffers at the Variety Boys & Girls Club released balloons in memory of Michael Messina Monday night in Astoria.
Hundreds of club members and staffers at the Variety Boys & Girls Club released balloons in memory of Michael Messina Monday night in Astoria.

The Cooper Avenue underpass has long been the site of much discussion at transportation committee meetings at Community Board #5 in Glendale as a place where traffic seems to move quite fast. At the time of this post there was no indication by police as to the speed of either vehicle.

A wake for Michael is on Friday, April 15th at Schwille Funeral Home – 66-32 Myrtle Avenue, Glendale.

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