Woman Hit, Killed by Friend She Didn't Want to Drive Her

Long Island woman was afraid he was too drunk

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 27, 2014 1:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – After a night out together, in the wee hours of Saturday on Long Island, Krystal Berkowitz, 21, got out of her friend Lawrence Pagano's Jeep Liberty in a parking lot and started walking home, afraid Pagano was too drunk to drive, police say. She had walked about a half-mile when, they say, 23-year-old Pagano caught up with her after driving out of the parking lot—and while pulling over to talk to her around 4am, he allegedly hit her with his car. He called 911 and was trying to help Berkowitz, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, and he's been charged with DWI, News 12 reports.

"I can't even quantify how hard it must have hit him because he loved the girl," a mutual friend tells Newsday, adding that the pair had remained friends after first dating for a while. "They were best friends. He's got to be killing himself on the inside right now."

This photo released on July 26, 2014 by the Suffolk County Police Department on New York's Long Island shows Lawrence Pagano, 23, who called 911 after his car struck Krystal Berkowitz, 21, on Saturday.
This photo released on July 26, 2014 by the Suffolk County Police Department on New York's Long Island shows Lawrence Pagano, 23, who called 911 after his car struck Krystal Berkowitz, 21, on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Suffolk County Police Department)
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