Woman fatally struck outside Long Island church on Christmas Eve

Published in The New York Daily News on Dec. 25, 2017

A 70-year-old woman about to step into Christmas Eve midnight mass was fatally struck by a car outside her Long Island church, police said.

Barbara Rizzi was crossing North Ocean Ave. to enter Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church in North Patchogue when a 2016 Nissan sedan slammed into her moments after midnight Monday.

Rizzi, who lived about a mile from the church, was rushed to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in East Patchogue but could not be saved.

Driver Samantha Reyes, 20, remained at the scene and faced no immediate charges.

Reyes was unhurt in the crash. Her car was impounded pending the investigation.

Appearing upset, Reyes left her home with a young man and a woman and said, “Merry Christmas” to a reporter, declining to discuss the crash, Monday afternoon. She told the reporter to call her mother but the mother did not pick up the phone.

Rizzi’s daughter-in-law was too distraught to speak to a reporter as devastated relatives gathered at her home in Shoreham Christmas afternoon.

Anyone with information on the crash can call the Suffolk County Police Department’s 5th Precinct at (631) 854-8552.

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