BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) joined members of Community Board 1 and the family of Betty Jean DiBiaso—a 21-year-old woman who was killed during a 2015 hit and run—on Friday for a street co-naming in Astoria to commemorate her.
On June 27, 2015, DiBiaso was leaving Astoria Park at approximately 12:30 a.m. when she was stuck by a 2002 Chevy Impala while crossing Ditmars Boulevard at 19th Street. According to police records, DiBiaso hit the driver’s side windshield and fell to the ground, while the driver sped away. DiBiaso sustained severe head trauma and was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital Center.
Shortly after DiBiaso’s death, the community began to advocate for safety improvements, which has since resulted in a traffic-mitigation plan for the streets surrounding Astoria Park and the implementation of street traffic-safety improvements.
“I am proud to honor Betty Jean DiBiaso’s memory with this street co-naming,” said Constantinides. “The terrible nature of her death caused shock and grieving among her family. Through the power of perseverance, the DiBiaso family was able to move forward and give back to our community by shepherding traffic-mitigation improvements on the streets surrounding the park where she was killed. We thank her family for their determination and for joining us in honoring her memory. We co-name this street to show that Betty’s death was not in vain—that we learned from the tragedy and worked to ensure it would not happen again.”
At the Friday ceremony, the intersection of Ditmars Boulevard and 19th Street was officially co-named Betty Jean DiBiaso Way.
“Betty’s family is immensely grateful for the work done to make this street-renaming possible,” said Sara Rotger, a friend of DiBiaso’s.
“We are here to support and celebrate the changes that have come from our tragedy. We hope for further changes to be made to enhance Astoria’s growth, safety and sustainability.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or email@example.com