By Harry Keaney
For the second time in less than six months, an Aer Lingus employee is mourning the sudden death of a loved one.
Michael Patrick Penny, 25, was killed on Sunday evening when the car in which he was a passenger was in collision with another vehicle at Atlantic Beach, L.I.
He was pronounced dead at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, in Far Rockaway, at about 7 p.m., about an hour after the crash on Park Street.
Penny, and another passenger, Paul Grammatico, 28, of Valley Stream, were ejected onto the road after the car in which they were traveling went out of control and hit a utility pole.
Grammatico, who sustained head injuries, was taken to Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow, L.I., by helicopter. He sustained severe head injuries and was not expected to survive.
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As the Echo went to press Tuesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman, Shelley Lotenberg, described Grammatico as being in "extremely critical condition."
Penny is the son of Amelia Penny, who works in Aer Lingus’ passenger service division at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where she is a familiar face to regular Aer Lingus passengers at the check-in desks.
The driver of the car, Louis Chirco, 26, of Valley Stream, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. He was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead. He sustained only minor injuries and was treated at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside.
According to news reports, Chirco’s vehicle, a 1991 Chevrolet Camaro, crashed into a 1994 Ford Taurus driven by Marilyn Diamond, 69, of Atlantic Beach.
Last January, Aer Lingus’s cargo manager for North America, Patrick Phelan, was bereaved by the sudden death of his 29-year-old daughter, Geraldine Mary, a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in the Bronx. She was leaving work when she collapsed and died as a result of a heart condition.
Michael Penny will be waked this Wednesday from 2- 5 p.m. and from 7- 9 p.m. in the Moore Funeral Home, 34 West Jamaica Ave., Valley Stream.
The funeral Mass will take place on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. in Holy Name of Mary Church, also on East Avenue, in Valley Stream.
Burial will be in Pinelawn Memorial Park in Pinelawn, L.I.
Michael Penny is survived by his mother, by a sister, Carol, and by a brother, Sean. He was predeceased by his father, Sydney.