Edward Carr Killed in Auto Crash

Dr. Edward Carr in the psychology building
at Stony Brook University.


A Stony Brook professor known internationally for his work on autism was killed after an intoxicated driver veered into opposing traffic and struck the professor’s car, Suffolk police said.

Edward Carr, 61, of Setauket, was driving with his wife, 58-year-old Ilene Wasserman, east on Route 25A in Wading River about 4:30 p.m. Saturday when the collision occurred.

Police said 66-year-old Michael Koss of Rocky Point was driving while intoxicated when he suddenly drove his 2004 Jeep Cherokee from the westbound lane into the eastbound lane, striking Carr’s 2000 Honda Civic.

Carr and Wasserman were airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center. Carr was pronounced dead at the hospital, and Wasserman was listed in critical condition.

Koss and his two passengers, 60-year-old Serena Koss, who lived with Michael Koss in Rocky Point, and 55-year-old Mary Lynch of Mount Sinai were taken by ambulance to Stony Brook. All three were listed in serious but stable condition. Koss broke his femur in the collision.

Seventh Squad Det. Sgt. James McGuinness said Koss will be arraigned when he is released from the hospital. Police plan to charge Koss with driving while intoxicated.

In a statement issued Sunday, Stony Brook University president Shirley Strum Kenny said the university was “devastated by the tragic loss of Professor Carr.” She called Carr “one of our most outstanding professors and researchers.”

Carr was an internationally recognized expert on autism, and was famous for codeveloping two widely practiced techniques for dealing with individuals with autism. Carr was a leading professor in the psychology department at Stony Brook, and served on the national panel of advisers for the Autism Society of America.

Wasserman is a licensed psychologist in New York State; records list her as having an office in Port Jefferson.

Neighbors of Carr and Wasserman reacted in shock to the news of the crash.

“We are just horrified,” said Gerald Gargivlo, who lives next door to the couple. They have a son, Aaron, who is in his 20s, Gargivlo said.

Gargivlo said Carr was a quiet, gentle man who spent his time tending to his immaculate home garden.

The couple took care of their health, often walking together, he said. They were also trusting, often leaving their garage doors of their home open while they walked.

“He would go out and clean the street, even if it was other people’s garbage,” Gargivlo said. “They were quiet people. They were dedicated to their professions.”

- With Dan Harding and Sumathi Reddy

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