Kumar Ragunath

Natasha Ragunath met her husband Kumar in Guyana, where they both grew up. “One day he sent me a letter saying that he likes me,” she told DNA.info shortly after he died. “And I responded.” They married in 1986 and moved to New York a year later with their 3 children.

The family settled in a two-family house in Jamaica, Queens, which they shared with some of Nasha’s family members. Kumar loved the community and would often volunteer to help friends and neighbors. He cleaned their sidewalks when it snowed and planted flowers in their gardens in the summertime.

Natasha said Kumar never paid much attention to material things. Once they got to America, he didn’t bother to buy a cell phone or a car. “He was very old-fashioned and very humble,” she said. Generous, too. “If he had the last penny and somebody asked him for it, he would give it to them,” she added. Kumar also loved to play cricket and listen to Indian music.

Although approaching retirement age, he continued to work. “He said: ‘I want to work as long as I have my good health and I want to work for my grandchildren — they will have to go to college soon,” Natasha told DNA.info. When he died, Kumar was on his way to the Holiday Inn in Long Island City, where he worked as the hotel’s fire safety director. It was his second day on the job.

This collision happened on March 7, 2014 near Northern Boulevard and 41st Road in Queens. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.