New Hyde Park teen dies in accident at Florida raceway

Posted: Updated:
NEW HYDE PARK -

A 16-year-old student from New Hyde Park has died after she was involved in an accident at Palm Beach International Raceway.

Family members say Leah Kuczinski, a 10th-grader at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, died after an accident on the raceway's go-kart track last Thursday. She was in Florida for the winter break.

News 12 reached out to the raceway for a comment, but did not hear back. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office did not provide any details surrounding the incident. 

New Hyde Park Memorial High School Principal Richard Faccio says the students and the community are doing all they can to support the family and each other after the sudden loss.

"The students are amazing and the community is amazing. They've really come together and done a lot of different things to support the family and to support each other," said Faccio. "We set up a crisis center in our library yesterday for students to take the time to heal and grieve."

Kuczinski was a cheerleader and a member of the field hockey team. She had just celebrated her 16th birthday. Fellow students told News 12 that she was a trusted and well-respected friend to many.

"She was a really nice, funny person. Always really real, she never hid anything," said senior Matt D'Amato. "The hallways are a little cold and silent. Everyone is taking it a different way."

Students at the high school Tuesday wore blue in her memory. A candlelight vigil is planned at the school's athletic field at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

A GoFundMe page in honor of Kuczinski has already raised more than $63,000.

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Monday, October 7 2019 12:12 PM EDT2019-10-07 16:12:23 GMT
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
  • Your Kids Corner Photos

    Your Kids Corner Photos

    Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.
    Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.
    Did you do something fun with your kids this weekend? Share your adventure with us!
    Did you do something fun with your kids this weekend? Share your adventure with us!
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."