New Hyde Park teen dies in accident at Florida raceway

Posted: Updated:

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.

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