MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Services were held this week for the Mahopac teen who died Saturday, June 11, after being struck by a car while skateboarding.
Fourteen-year-old Michael Bongiovanni had been on life support at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla since the June 6 accident and passed away five days later. He was remembered as a “genuinely nice kid.”
“My son is a freshman and he knew him,” said Mahopac resident Tom Argo Jr. “My two older boys were friendly with him and they are upset. It was chilling for everyone in my family. He was a good kid. My oldest son said he was a genuinely nice kid. My son is pretty shook up and upset.”
Argo’s father, Tom Argo Sr., was the teen’s bus driver and said Bongiovanni was his last stop of the day.
“I drove him every day for the whole year and got to know him to some degree,” Argo Sr. said. “I would see this kid every day and I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose one of your own.
“I liked him,” Argo Sr. continued. “He was a good kid and I feel terrible. Every day when I pass the kid’s house and I don’t pick him up, it’s hard. This is something you don’t expect—I won’t be picking him up anymore.”
Argo Sr. said that since Bongiovanni was the last student that he dropped off, they were able to get to know each other after all the other students had disembarked.
“He respected me and I respected him,” he said. “He was kind of quiet and stayed to himself. He was my last stop and he was friendly to me and we would chat. Once he got comfortable with me, he was pretty outgoing. I feel terrible. I’ve been driving for nine years and this is the first time anything like this has happened.”
Bongiovanni’s friend Matthew Krycerick said he was blessed with a great imagination.
“He would take a nothing day and make it more fun than you can think of,” Krycerick said. “He once decided to take plastic Ziploc bags and use them as water balloons all because he was all about having fun and wanted nothing to get in the way of that. Even when there’s 6 inches of snow on the ground, Michael would entertain with just the throw of a snowball. Michael would impress me with his ability to do all sorts of tricks on his skateboard in his driveway. It is hard to take in that I won’t be able to share more amazing experiences with Michael.”
Bongiovanni was struck by a car while skateboarding on Kia Ora Boulevard near the intersection of Brookside Road on Monday, June 6. Police said that the car was traveling west on Kia Ora and as it crossed the intersection of Brookside Road, it collided with the teen. Police believe Bongiovanni was traveling straight ahead, south on Brookside Road, and he entered the intersection without obeying the stop sign.
Police said that when paramedics arrived the teen was unresponsive and residents from the neighborhood were performing CPR. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. No charges were filed against the driver.
Mahopac School Superintendent Dr. Dennis Creedon said the school community is in mourning, but noted that there is a lesson to be learned from the tragedy.
“The Board of Education and the entire administration extends its deepest sympathies,” Creedon said. “But this tragedy is one we can all learn from. Be extra vigilant in making sure kids wear helmets and the appropriate protective gear whenever biking or skateboarding. We will keep the family in our prayers; tragedies like this are very hard to overcome and deal with.”
A wake was held Tuesday at Yorktown Funeral Home in Shrub Oak, and a Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 18, at St. James Church in Springfield, N.J. There will be visitation one hour before Mass.