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Cops: Stony Brook Woman, 21, Killed; Friend Charged with DWI

An alleged drunken driver accidentally struck and killed his friend moments after she exited his car “due to concern about his intoxication,” Suffolk County police said.

Krystal Berkowitz, 21, of Stony Brook tragically died in Setauket on Nesconset Highway just after 4 a.m. Saturday. Police said she was walking home.

Berkowitz was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Before the crash, Berkowitz and 23-year-old Lawrence Pagano of Coram were together in his 2006 Jeep Liberty in a nearby parking lot, police said. That’s where she decided to exit the car and began walking westbound on Nesconset Highway.

“She chose to walk due to concern about his intoxication,” police said in a press release.

Pagano, police said, struck Berkowitz with his car when he tried to pull to the side of the road to speak to her.

Pagano called 911 and was seen trying to help his friend when officers arrived, police said. Berkowitz suffered a serious head injury, police said.

Pagano was charged with driving while intoxicated. He will be arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office are continuing their investigation into the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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