No. 4 Story of the Year: Two beloved locals struck and killed

12/29/2014 8:00 AM |
Friends of Kaitlyn Doorhy at a vigil in August. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Friends of Kaitlyn Doorhy at a vigil in August. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The North Fork was rocked this year by the accidental deaths of Kaitlyn Doorhy, 20, of Mattituck in August and Howard Meinke, 86, of Laurel in September.

Ms. Doorhy, a 2012 Mattituck High School graduate and junior at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., died Aug. 22 when she was struck by a car while crossing a street near her sorority house in Bridgeport, Conn. A $100,000 scholarship in the former Mattituck Strawberry Queen’s memory was established at Sacred Heart in October. In November, a bench was installed in her honor at Cutchogue East Elementary School.

“It’s overwhelming the way this community has come together for us,” Ms. Doorhy’s father, Joseph, said this past summer. “There are no words to express our gratitude.”

Mr. Meinke, an environmental advocate and occasional Suffolk Times guest columnist, died Sept. 18 when he was hit by a car while crossing Route 48 after attending a fundraiser at the Soundview Restaurant in Greenport.

His untimely death — the third of its kind on that particular stretch of Route 48 since 2007 — has prompted residents and this newspaper to push legislators to make the road safer for pedestrians.

Mr. Meinke, a former president of the North Fork Environmental Council, “was probably one of the most passionate people that you’d want,” said current NFEC president, Bill Toedter. “It’s a big loss for the East End.”

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