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Family friend describes Staten Island teen in critical condition from car wreck a responsible driver

Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze.

“Kyle is in the ICU and there’s no change in status,” said Arlene Ryback, hospital spokeswoman, Thursday morning.

Miller, 18, was driving a souped-up red 1992 Nissan 240SX when, sources familiar with the crash say, it spun and slid on Gulf Avenue just south of Forest Avenue, slamming into two utility poles a few minutes before 2 a.m. Wednesday.

As the Tottenville High School graduate and Nissan service center employee fought for his life Thursday, a family friend provided his thoughts about Miller and the car the hard-working teen spent 18 months transforming from “junk” to very respectable.

“He was a dedicated kid,” said Vincent Balestriere, adding Miller did extensive research on car parts and equipment installation. “He always tried to do things right. He never tried to half-bake anything.”

A source the skid marks leading up to the impact “acceleration marks.”

Another source familiar with the crash investigation said Miller’s car was “modified for speed,” with a supercharged engine, a cool-air intake system and several other upgrades.

The cause remains under investigation.

The Miller family declined comment Wednesday.

Balestriere, who describes himself as a car enthusiast, said it was not supercharged, but turbocharged. The equipment provides a boost to the vehicle, he said, adding that the stock model is “really slow.”

Despite the upgrade, the light, manual transmission vehicle “wasn’t crazy,” said Balestriere, referring to its speed potential.

“He wasn’t doing anything stupid with it,” he said. “It was a nice car. It wasn’t unhandleable. He was a good driver. He knew what he was doing.”

Miller occasionally raced drift events at Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. said a co-worker Wednesday. Balestriere said the sanctioned events consisted of just a driver on a track racing against the clock.

“He was a responsible kid,” he said. “That’s the way to do it.”

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