The 71-year-old traffic agent who was hit by a truck and killed while on the job Saturday was kind and hardworking, according to his friends. Arlene Bornstein filed the following report.
The NYPD traffic enforcement agent who was killed while on duty in Midtown on Saturday is being remembered by friends as a good family man.
According to police, 71-year-old Kalyanarat Ranasinghe was hit and pinned under a large white industrial truck at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Officials say the truck was pulling out of a parking spot when he was hit. A witness described the gruesome scene.
"I saw this gentleman in front of the truck. This white truck you see down the block here, a vacuum truck,” said Antonio Trinidad. “He was directly in front of the right headlight. He got clipped by the truck. It knocked him over and rolled him up into the tire. And then after that we saw him lifeless."
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the accident was “gut-wrenching.
”These people don't make a lot of money, but they're out there in the middle of some heavy traffic, worst possible weather, day and night. So it's a dangerous job, but unfortunately, things like this can sometimes happen."
Friends of the traffic agent remembered the seven-year veteran fondly.
"Very sad. He's a very good man. Highly educated man, hardworking, even though he's 70 years old, but, you know, he's a strong man. And I feel very bad about him. And very nice family," said Nizaar Ahmed, a family friend.
"He's a very innocent, kind, lovely person. So sad the news we heard today about his accident. It's really sad news,” said Kotta Wenanda of Buddhist Vihara New York.
The driver of the truck did not leave the scene and so far no charges have been filed.
Friends of the victim say they plan to hold a memorial service for him next week at their temple in Queens Village.