A drunken car thief took the life of an Irish American teenager whose family is prominent in local Irish cultural circles, and another young man in Middle Village, Queens last weekend. Robert Ogle, 16, was struck and killed instantly by 27-year-old Kenneth Guyear, who was driving a silver Kia that he had earlier stolen from outside a deli in the neighborhood. Robert's father, Brendan Ogle is a well known Irish fiddler and a former step dancer and Brendan's brother Monsignor Ogle is a former Irish dance teacher who has been described as one of the finest dancers of his generation. Friends arriving at the Ogle family home in Queens on Sunday afternoon to watch the Super Bowl were stunned by the news. Ogle, a natural athlete, played football with Queens Falcons and had enrolled at Brooklyn Tech, where his mother teaches, in 2006. Guyear's second victim, Alex Paul, 20, had met Ogle through a mutual friend on Saturday night and the two were part of a group of friends having a night out in the neighborhood. The two young men were struck while they were crossing a street in Middle Village on foot shortly before 1:30 a.m. according to the police report. Ogle died at the scene and Paul passed away hours later at Elmhurst Hospital. Investigators believe that neither man had time to see the car Guyear was driving before it him them. Ogle's father, Brendan, 56, works for the city's Depart-ment of Information Technology and Telecommunications and his mother Mei, who was born in Taiwan, is a foreign language teacher at Brooklyn Tech. As a boy Robert attended Resurrection Ascension School in Rego Park, Queens, through the eighth grade. Monsignor Sean Ogle, is the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria, Queens. He told the Irish Voice, "He was a promising kid, good natured, bright and friendly. He was a good boy at home, too. He loved to play sports and he enjoyed his studies. His friends liked him very much and he got along well with adults." Monsignor Ogle's mother originally came from Co. Tyrone and his father came from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway in the same year, 1948, and he grew up with his brother Brendan and his sister Eileen in Astoria, Queens. Said Monsignor Ogle, "All of Robert's relatives on both sides of the family loved him. His mother is Taiwanese born and so he had a whole Taiwanese side of the family and he was very connected to both strands. "He was a fine kid with a lot going for him and it's a great loss, both for who he was and what he could have been. But we have to endure these evils as part of our human condition and try to perservere, you know?" Kenneth Guyear was arrested near the scene and charged with driving while intoxicated, manslaughter, assault, leaving the scene of an accident, grand larceny and driving without a license. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.126 - the legal limit is 0.08. Still chewing gum as he was led to the squad car he made no comment to the press. The Queens District Attorney's office told a court hearing in Queens on Monday that Guyear had admitted to drinking five vodkas and taking two Xanax pills, which are used to prevent anxiety disorders and panic attacks linked to depression "I had five or six drinks and took two Xanax pills," Guyear said in a videotaped statement. "I stole the car that was parked on the street. I drove the car and saw the pedestrian but I didn't think I hit anybody. I kept driving and then stopped the car and looked for blood on the car. I kept driving and the police stopped me." Guyear, whose MySpace internet homepage makes multiple references to drugs and displays images of Muppets posing with hand guns, has been incarcerated on Rikers Island eight times, including a six-month stint in 1999 for robbery and four months in 2006 for stealing a car. Meanwhile the Ogle family is attempting to come to terms with their tragic loss. Robert was particularly close to his mother, father and younger brother Sean, 15, and his passing has left them lost for words. "They were always together that family, the four of them," said Monsignor Ogle. "They traveled together, they helped each other, and they were very present in each others lives."
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?