RIDGEWOOD — A veteran who served in the U.S. Navy and who loved photography was struck by two cars, including a hit-and-run driver, and killed Tuesday night just blocks from his home, police said.
Kamil Gorski, 36, who grew up in Queens and recently lived in California, was fondly remembered by friends in the wake of the horrific crash.
"I'm really sad, he was a really good guy," said Mieczyslaw Mietko Rudek, who knew the victim for 15 years. "He was intelligent, he was funny...We’ll miss him.”
Gorski was crossing Metropolitan Avenue at 62nd Street a little before 8 p.m. when a first car, a 2007 white Ford van, struck him and then fled the scene, officials said.
The impact catapulted Gorski onto the westbound lane of Metropolitan Avenue where he was hit again, this time by a blue Sedan, which remained at the scene, the police said.
Gorski suffered severe head trauma and was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead, officials said.
Raul Reyes, 53, from Brooklyn, was charged with leaving the scene, police said. Police contacted Reyes after receiving an anonymous tip matching his vehicle and Reyes then showed up at the 104th precinct, they said. Reyes had no prior arrests, authorities said.
Gorski recently moved back from San Marcos, Calif. to Ridgewood where both of his parents live, his friends said.
He was working as a carpenter, according to Kizzy-Kay Graham, who went to the acclaimed LaGuardia High School with him in the 90's.
Gorski, who friends described as a great artist, was also working on a personal photography project about Staten Isalnd's boat graveyard, Rudek, a photographer himself, said.
"Because he was in the Marines he wanted to photograph the sunken ships," Rudek said. "He started working on his series, he consulted me but we were waiting for the winter to be over (to continue the project). His shots were incredible," his distressed friend said.
Graham, 36, said that Gorski was "adventurous."
“He lived his life, no worries, no over thinking. We were supposed to to the Polar Bear plunge together," Graham said.
"I am very sad. He was one of a kind: truly free from the confines of society. He wasn't just alive. He lived."