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Car wash worker killed in Rosedale crash

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A car wash worker was killed and another was injured Thursday in Rosedale when their co-worker crashed into them as he was leaving the garage with a client’s Jeep Cherokee, police said.

Felipe Alvarenga, 42, of Valley Stream, L.I., and an unidentified co-employee of Car Wash located on 248th Street and South Conduit Avenue, were drying a black Chevy Suburban near the exit when another worker crashed into them, according to police.

The unidentified driver then sped out of the driveway, got out of his vehicle two blocks down Sunrise Highway into Nassau County and ran toward Green Acres Mall, police said.

“It look like the pedal got stuck,” said Olsten KilKenny of Rosedale, the owner of the Suburban who saw the incident. “It’s just a tragedy.”

Nathan Benjamin, the car wash’s manager, refused to disclose the name of his employee who drove the Jeep Cherokee, which had no plates and an Avis car rental sticker. Police had not arrested him as of Thursday evening.

The accident victims were taken to Franklin General Hospital in Long Island, where Alvarenga was pronounced dead, police said. The other victim was listed in stable condition.

Other car wash workers broke down crying as the police questioned them about the accident. Family members who said they were related to Alvarenga were also teary-eyed but angry about the accident.

“I don’t know how can anything happen at a freaking car wash,” said a woman who claimed to be a victim’s niece.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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