Family and friends remembered 71-year-old NYPD traffic agent Kalyanarat Ranasinghe at a funeral on Saturday. The six-year veteran of traffic enforcement was a hard working man dedicated to his family. Erin Clarke filed the following report.
Kalyana Ranasinghe, the 71-year-old traffic agent who was hit by a truck and killed while on duty, received a cop’s goodbye at a funeral on Saturday.
He was honored by the NYPD for his six years as a city traffic enforcement agent.
"He was a hard working man. He worked all the overtime. He's at work all the time. He worked very hard for his family," said Robert Cassar, president of CWA Local 1182.
It was family that brought Ranasinghe here.
He was born in Sri Lanka, worked as a telecommunications engineer in Dubai and after retirement, he moved to the U.S. because his daughter was being educated here.
"The agent was extremely close to his family," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
He took pride in his job and was well respected by his colleagues.
Many of them described him as having a calmness or inner peace, a way with people that even translated to the job.
"He was proud of the fact that he could give out summonses and people would sometimes thank him for issuing the summons," Kelly said.
But it was on the job where Ranasinghe was killed, pinned under a truck in Midtown.
"Traffic is a dangerous job,” Cassar said.
Officials say the truck was pulling out of a parking spot.
The union president for traffic and sanitation agents says that should be looked into.
"I know that that vehicle was the last ticket in his PTD, his ticket writing machine and he didn't finish issuing that summons. I would think that that would be something that comes into question that they should look at. Why did he move that vehicle before he got issued his summons?" said Cassar.
As of now, there are no charges filed against the driver.
He did not leave the scene of the accident.
The union president hopes that laws can be created to try to make sure other agents do not suffer the same fate.