Queens Village boy dies in ambulance accident

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Six-year-old Jerome Clemendor of Queens Village was killed last Thursday afternoon when a city ambulance broadsided a minivan carrying the boy, his pregnant mother and two other family members, police said.

Police said the Emergency Medical Service ambulance, which was traveling southbound on Merrick Boulevard with its lights flashing and sirens on, collided with the 1994 Nissan minivan traveling westbound on 110th Avenue in St. Albans around 2 p.m., killing the 6-year-old and injuring the three members of this family.

Police said Jerome died of head injuries.

His mother, who was eight months pregnant, was admitted to the hospital and gave birth to another boy Sunday night. His father and sister were treated at Mary Immaculate Hospital and released.

“They just picked him up from an open school night and were taking him over to his cousin to play for an hour or so,” said Susan Clemendor, Jerome’s grandmother and the mother of his father.

“My son was waiting at a red light and when the light changed to green, he started to go. He got three quarters of the way into the intersection when the ambulance hit him. They never put the siren on till the last minute.”

The driver and passenger in the ambulance, which smashed into a light pole after bounding off the minivan, suffered minor injuries and were treated at North Shore Hospital, police said.

The Fire Department, which oversees EMS, said it was investigating the accident. The name of the driver of the ambulance has not been released. No charges had been made public as of presstime.

Clemendor said her family, who lives in Queens Village, is trying to cope with the loss of Jerome, a first-grader at PS 135 in Queens Village, who will be buried Friday. She said they were doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Cards sent to the family from classmates remembering Jerome fill a table in the grandmother’s home.

“He was a very loving child,” Clemendor said about her grandson. “Some of his favorite things were to watch the cartoon Sponge Bob and taking care of his lizard.”

Faye McFalane, Jerome’s mother, who was eight months pregnant at the time of the accident, delivered another son, Jarell, on Sunday night. McFalane is not handling the loss of her son very well, Clemendor said.

“She is taking it very badly and is emotional and crying.” Clemendor said. “She has said that she would rather die then live without him.”

What angers Clemendor is that she has not heard from any city officials. Neither the police nor the fire departments has contacted them about the accident to see how the family was holding up or even to apologize.

“Oh, my gosh, oh my, God, he played with my son,” said Danielle Trappier, when she found out about the death of her young neighbor. “He was a very friendly boy who used to walk up and down the street.”

She said he was an energetic and cute child who was friendly with her son who does not readily take to most children. But the two young boys got along without any problems.

“That is so sad,” said Trappier’s grandfather, Willie Moore, who has lived on the block for 19 years.

The family said the funeral will take place Friday at Crowes Funeral Home on Sutphin Boulevard.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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