Westchester Native Struck, Killed Walking On Garden State Parkway, Police Say

An engineer from Westchester who worked on innovations in supercomputer chips was inexplicably walking in the fast lane of the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey before dawn Sunday when he was struck and killed near the New York State border, authorities said.

Sam Gottheim
Sam Gottheim Photo Credit: Samuel Gottheim

Samuel E. Gottheim, 30, an Arsdley native living in California, had attended a nearby family wedding Saturday night, family members said.

He was walking on the northbound parkway at milepost 169.7 in Woodcliff Lake "for an unknown reason" at 3 a.m. when he struck by an Acura driven by a 28-year-old New City man, according to NJ State Police Trooper Charles Marchan.

Gottheim, who has family in Woodcliff Lake was pronounced dead at the scene, responders said.

Gottheim had been living in Santa Clara, CA and working since early last year as a process engineer for Applied Materials Inc., which supplies equipment, services and software for the manufacture of semiconductor chips for electronics, flat-panel displays for computers, smartphones and televisions and solar products.

He was a graduate research assistant at Rice University, where he'd "spearheaded innovative research" in the field known as nanophotonics.

Gottheim had a PhD in chemistry from Rice and a Bachelors degree in chemistry from Muhlenberg College, according to his resume.

"The loss for his mother, brother, all his friends and relatives and me is devastating and totally surreal," Gottheim's father, Arthur, of White Plains wrote in a social media post on Sunday morning. "He was a wonderful 30-year-old man who was just starting his life.

"We will miss him forever."

Hillsdale and New Jersey State police were among the responders to Sunday's fatality. An investigation was continuing, the NJSP said.

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