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Witness: NY State Man Killed On Route 4 After Fight With Girlfriend Walked Into Traffic

Ryan O’Keefe Photo Credit: www.mchoulfuneralhome.com
Westbound Route 4 was closed between Kinderkamack Road and Forest Avenue until 4:30 a.m. Photo Credit: DAILY VOICE

UPDATE: A Dutchess County, NY man who was killed when he was struck by two vehicles on Route 4 in Paramus deliberately walked into traffic, witnesses said.

One witness was getting gas at the BP station next to the McDonald's on the highway's westbound side moments before 9 p.m. Saturday.

"My husband was inside the [gas station] store when the man walked over from McDonald's with a blank stare on this face," she told Daily Voice.

Ryan O’Keefe, 36, of Wappingers Falls, NY man had been fighting with his girlfriend both inside and outside the McDonald's, near the highway's Forest Avenue exit, a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the incident told Daily Voice.

It was initially unclear whether the things got physical at any point, he said.

"He went into the store, walked around in a circle and walked out facing my car," said the witness, a Bergen County personal trainer who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I went to pull out and looked to my left and I started freaking out.

"I was yelling in my car: 'Oh, my God! What is he doing?'

"He took one step into the highway, took a step back and then walked into traffic," she said. "The first car clipped him. The second car had the most impact."

Another witness said the victim was struck in the center lane of the highway by a 2007 Chrysler and then run over by a 2013 Subaru.

A third, Cherise Paton, 20, of Bergenfield was among the first to dial 911.

"He tried to step in front of my car first," she said. "We thought that he was trying to kill himself on purpose, God rest his soul."

O'Keefe was later pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center, Paramus Deputy Police Chief Robert Guidetti said.

Both drivers remained at the scene and no summonses were issued, he said.

******

O’Keefe, a Poughkeepsie native, attended local schools and was graduated from John Jay High School in 2001.

Described in his obituary as an "enthusiastic outdoorsman," he was into fitness and enjoyed reading.

He is survived by his mother, Patricia O’Keefe-Nolan, and his stepfather, Thomas Nolan; his sister, Stacey O’Keefe, and her children, Laila & Enzo; his grandmother, Angelina Tuczynski; his stepbrother, Ryan Nolan; his stepsister, Lisa Nolan; his stepsister, Shannon Nolan, and her children, David, Mason, and Maverick; his aunts and uncles, Larry and Sue Tuczynski, Ann and Anthony “Tony” Ferri (his godfather), Alice Brooks, Patricia Link and family, and Isabelle Ferri; his cousins, Nicole Cardoso and family and Megan Ferri; and many other loving relatives & friends.

A funeral service is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the McHoul Funeral Home, Inc. , 895 Route 82, Hopewell Junction, following visitation that begins at 4 p.m.

******

The area in front of the gas station was cordoned off and westbound Route 4 between Kinderkamack Road and Forest Avenue remained closed until nearly 4:30 a.m. -- more than seven hours -- while Paramus police and the Bergen County Prosecutor's Fatal Accident Investigations Unit investigated.

The Bergen County Sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification collected evidence.

"We remind all pedestrians that pedestrian bridges allow for pedestrians and bicyclists to safely cross a busy road without conflicts," Guidetti said.

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