Paul Zaccaria was hailed for his free spirit during a ceremony, coordinated by the motorcycle club Rolling Thunder Chapter 1, NY, whose members rode from Marine Park to his family’s home on National Drive where they cast flowers in the water during a touching tribute.
Paul’s mother, Jo-Ann, and his friends read poems and eulogized the 17-year-old, who was propelled from his vessel into Mill Basin after a collision with a watercraft, driven by his friend, 16-year-old Aristotle Plagianokos, whom cops charged with leaving the scene of the June 2006 accident, in addition to speeding, recklessness and failure to report an accident.
Shortly after the fatal accident, Paul’s family and friends joined local officials to dedicate a mural to the teen at the corner of Mill Avenue and Avenue U.
The striking artwork features a portrait of the handsome boy, whose heart-broken mother wept upon seeing it, mourning, “He was my only child. I am an only child. We only had each other.”
Paul had, reportedly, bought the Jet Ski unbeknownst to his mother with money he earned selling tickets to an after-prom party.
Plagianokos, who mourned, “He was my friend, too,” was acquitted of all charges.
— Shavana Abruzzo
©2010 Community News Group
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