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Woman struck, killed after refusing ride

by New York Times News Service on July 27, 2014 1:34 AM

A 21-year-old Long Island woman who chose to walk home instead of drive with a friend she thought was drunk was killed on Saturday morning after the friend ran into her, the police said.

The accident happened shortly after 4 a.m. on Nesconset Highway in Setauket, the Suffolk County Police Department said.

The victim, Krystal Berkowitz, of Stony Brook, had gotten out of her friend’s SUV and started to walk because she was concerned that the friend was intoxicated, the police said. Investigators said the driver, Lawrence Pagano, of Coram, hit Berkowitz with his Jeep Liberty while trying to pull over to the side of the road to talk to her.

The police said that Berkowitz was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pagano, 23, called 9-1-1 and tried to assist Berkowitz while waiting for officers to arrive, the police said.

He was later arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

The police said he would be held overnight at a police station until an arraignment scheduled for Sunday.

It was not immediately known if Pagano had an attorney.

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