Motorcyclist, pedestrian die in Queens Blvd. crash

Police investigate at the site of the fatal crash on Queens Boulevard. Photo by Roy Renna/BMR Breaking News
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Both a Yonkers motorcyclist and a 78-year-old woman, remembered fondly by her Woodside neighbors as a “nice lady,” were killed in a Queens Boulevard crash Saturday evening, police said.

Darien Baker, 31, had been riding a white 2013 Suzuki motorcycle at around 4:30 p.m. when he mowed down Marion Kurshuk, who was crossing the boulevard at 58th Street, a few blocks away from her 59th Street apartment in Woodside, the NYPD said.

Kurshuk was remembered by her neighbors as a nice old lady who refused to let her age bog her down.

“She was very active even though she was old. Even though she may have had a problem getting around, she kept going,” said Phyllis King, who lived on the same floor as Kurshuk. “She was a very upbeat person. She was always in a good mood. She didn’t believe in being house-bound. She liked to get in and out and she didn’t want to let her age hamper her in any way.”

“She was always going, but she was always careful,” Margaret Poncel, another neighbor, said. “She liked to go.”

Neighbors said Kurshuk was a busy volunteer who gave her time to helping the homeless and needy. She volunteered at a number of churches in Manhattan every Thanksgiving and Christmas, said King.

Kurshuk never mentioned any relatives to her neighbors and was not married.

King said she saw motorcyclists driving up and down Queens Boulevard Saturday afternoon and even saw one go up on his back tire to pop a wheelie.

“That’s a very busy road and there are a lot of older people who live around these parts that cross these streets,” she said. “It’s a nightmare because a lot of the time people can’t wait to get through (the intersection). I’m surprised nobody has been killed there before.”

Both Baker and Kurshuk were taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where they were pronounced dead, according to cops.

An investigation into their deaths was ongoing, police said.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 12:45 am, December 24, 2013
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