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Photo via Creative Commons

Residents of northeast Queens are rallying around a local family mourning the loss of a 17-year-old woman who was hit and killed by a car in Whitestone on Monday.

On June 25, Madeline Sershen was crossing Utopia Parkway with the walk light in her favor when she was struck by a 2005 Toyota Corolla, according to authorities. The vehicle was driven by 88-year-old Sheila Kahn Prager, who police said ignored a steady red light.

Paramedics rushed Sershen to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens hospital, where the teenager was pronounced dead. Sershen was a junior at St. Francis Preparatory High School.

In the wake of the tragedy, friends of the teenager’s family have launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help ease the burden of funeral costs. In less than 24 hours, the campaign has already surpassed its $10,000 goal.

The fundraiser was started by administrators at P.S. 79 in Whitestone, where Sershen’s mother Catherine is employed.

“While no amount of money can erase this horrible tragedy, we as a school community want to support Catherine and her family during this painful time,” organizers wrote.

Donors have showered the family with thoughts and prayers in the comments section of the fundraiser.

“Maddie was a beautiful person and friend who is now an angel,” wrote Francesco DiMaggio. “So hard to believe!”

Kahn Prager was taken into custody at the scene and issued a desk appearance ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian, running a red light and failure to exercise due care. She must return to court on July 12.

The GoFundMe page can be accessed by clicking here.

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