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Elmhurst Community Activist Killed In Car Crash


Jan. 11, 2016 Staff Report

An Elmhurst community activist was killed in a collision on Astoria Boulevard yesterday afternoon.

Robert Valdes-Clausell, a member of the Newtown Civic Association, was driving eastbound on Astoria Boulevard, near 77th Street, when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a concrete barrier, according to the NYPD.

Valdes-Clausell, 56, was driving a 2006 Ford Explorer, which crossed three lanes of traffic before striking the concrete barrier in the left lane, police said.

Police responded to the scene at 12:50 p.m., where they found Valdes-Clausell unconscious and unresponsive. EMS transported him to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

“Robert Valdes-Clausell’s passing is a great shock to the Elmhurst community,” Councilman Daniel Dromm said. “Robert was involved in numerous organizations and was a strong advocate for the community.”

“As a board member of the Newtown Civic Association, Robert fought to keep historical buildings in Elmhurst intact, advocated for the reopening of the Elmhurst LIRR and was involved in many other worthy civic activities.  His presence will be sorely missed,” Dromm added.

The investigation is ongoing by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad.

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