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Stony Brook student killed in hit-and-run crash

A Suffolk County police officer guards the scene where Artem Ayzen was killed Wednesday night after being hit by a hit-and-run driver near Stony Brook University.
A Suffolk County police officer guards the scene where Artem Ayzen was killed Wednesday night after being hit by a hit-and-run driver near Stony Brook University. Photo Credit: Mike Balsamo

A Stony Brook University graduate student was killed Wednesday night after he was struck by a car while rollerblading near the college and police are now looking for the driver who left him dying in the road.

Suffolk County Police say Artem Ayzen, 25, was rollerblading along North Country Road – just a few blocks from of the Stony Brook Rail Road station – when a car that was heading east hit him just before 11 p.m. Detectives believe the vehicle was a dark-colored sport-utility-vehicle that suffered front-end damage in the crash. The driver allegedly fled from the scene.

According to authorities, Ayzen, 25, was a graduate student at nearby Stony Brook University. Police said he was rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital, but died from his injuries shortly after the crash. Detectives from the Suffolk County Vehicular Crimes Unit arrived to the scene shortly after midnight. Police officials at the scene did not comment early Thursday morning.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Ayzen was a research assistant in a laboratory at the college. He graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and was pursuing a master’s degree and doctorate. His social media profiles said he was from Latvia and has attended Stony Brook since 2008.

In a statement, Stony Brook University President Samuel Stanley said Ayzen was a “bright an promising young student” who was highly regarded by students, staff and friends. “The loss to his family and friends and all of us in the University community is profound, especially in such an unexpected manner,” Stanley said in a statement. “On behalf of Stony Brook University, I express heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and faculty who knew and cared for Artem.”

Stanley said college officials also have set up counseling and psychological services for students and staff. He said details about Ayzen’s funeral were still being established. The college was waiting Thursday afternoon to hear from his family about their intentions.

Detectives say they are still investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call the Vehicular Crimes Unit at 631-852-6555. Police can also be reached through the Suffolk County Crime Stoppers tipline at 1-800-220-TIPS.