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Father of Whitestone teen hit by SUV says son is improving

Whitestone resident Terrance Semler, 18, who was hit by an SUV on Francis Lewis Boulevard, remained at New York Hospital Queens in Flushing this week, but his condition has improved, according to his father.

Semler and his girlfriend, Angela D’Ambrose, 15, of Whitestone, were hit by an SUV at the intersection of 17th Road and Francis Lewis Boulevard Oct. 10, police said. D’Ambrose died surrounded by her family at NYHQ on the evening of Oct. 10.

“As of Sunday Terrance has greatly improved,” Dominick Crescenzo, Semler’s father, wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to Semler and D’Ambrose. “We have gone from ‘it will be weeks until he wakes’ to a matter of days. The boy is a fighter.”

Officers responded to a 911 call at 17th Road and Francis Lewis around 7:40 p.m. Oct. 10 and found that the two teens had been struck by a white Isuzu Rodeo driving northbound on Francis Lewis, police said.

The unconscious victims were brought to NYHQ. The vehicle was driven by a 65-year-old man whose identity was not released, according to police.

Semler and D’Ambrose were a sweet couple who loved each other, D’Ambrose’s longtime friend Francesca Luisi said.

Luisi, who lives in Manhattan, said D’Ambrose told her Semler was a “very sweet, polite young man who cared a lot for Angela.”

“From what I’ve heard some of Angela’s friends say, she was perfect for Terrance,” Luisi said. “I guess they both needed each other. Angela has a lot of friends and was very close to her family, but Terrance was her first love. They were crazy about each other. I know that for sure.”

D’Ambrose was a Bayside High School student who lived with her grandfather in Whitestone, according to family members. She moved away from her mother’s home in Manhattan to Whitestone several months ago to stay with her grandfather, with whom she wanted to live after her grandmother died about two years ago.

D’Ambrose’s life had taken a turn for the good in recent years, Luisi said. The pretty teenager had lost a lot of weight and was thrilled to be going to Bayside High School after having been home schooled, according to Luisi.

“She was looking forward to being in a school environment with kids her own age,” said Luisi, who had known D’Ambrose since she was about 3.“In recent months, it seemed like everything was looking up for Angela, as if she had everything she ever wanted. She had a ton of friends, she was going to start an actual school and she had a boyfriend she was crazy about. The fact that her life was cut short just as it seemed to be looking up for her is a tragedy in itself.”

Had D’Ambrose lived, she would have wanted to pursue a career helping others, Luisi said.

“She didn’t go into specifics, but she did say that she wanted her work to count one day, to improve someone else’s life in any way she could” Luisi said.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

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