Beloved Queens teacher dies in crash with wrong-way FDNY firefighter: report

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Queens high school teacher died when an off-duty FDNY firefighter crashed into his car while driving the wrong way on a Long Island parkway, according to a report.

Benjamin N. Cardozo High School social studies teacher Anthony Mariano, 44, was driving a 2007 Mazda CX7 on Sunken Meadow Parkway near Smithtown around 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 20 when off-duty firefighter Joseph Norris, 38, slammed into his car head-on, the Daily News reported.

Norris was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck the wrong way when he crashed into Mariano’s car, the outlet reported.

Mariano was pronounced dead at the scene, and Norris was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, according to the outlet. Norris hadn’t been charged as of Monday, and it wasn’t immediately clear why he was driving the wrong way.

Mariano taught at the high school in Bayside for the past 17 years. He was set to marry his fiancée, Christie Azzolini, next summer, the outlet reported.

“It shouldn’t have happened to him,” Azzolini told the outlet. “He’s the type of guy who would give you the shirt off of his back. He would literally do anything for anyone.”

His students have provided an “outpouring” of support, as well as fond memories of Azzolini, since his passing, she said.

“The students, it’s amazing what they’re saying,” she said. “Anthony would be so proud.”