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Officials: Vehicle hits, kills surgeon who founded Manhattan Hatzalah

Richard Friedman of Cedarhurst was a bariatric surgeon with Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan and founded a West Side branch of Hatzalah.

Dr. Richard Friedman, 55, of Cedarhurst, was struck

Dr. Richard Friedman, 55, of Cedarhurst, was struck and killed by a vehicle on Saturday in Lawrence, officials said. Photo Credit: Chevra Hatzalah

A Cedarhurst surgeon and founder of a Manhattan branch of the Hatzalah ambulance service was struck and killed by a BMW late Saturday afternoon as he walked on a Lawrence street, according to Nassau police and a spokesman for the Jewish volunteer organization.

Richard Friedman, 55, was walking north on Washington Avenue South between Donmoor Road and Broadway when he was hit by the 2016 BMW also traveling north. He suffered a traumatic head injury and was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after the crash just after 5:30 p.m., police said.

The male driver, 44, was uninjured and stayed at the scene. Police conducted a brake and safety check of the vehicle at the scene. No issues were found and the BMW was released to its owner, police said.

Friedman was a bariatric surgeon with Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan and founded a West Side branch of Hatzalah. He served as the medical director for the Chevra Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which serves all of New York City, the Catskills and Rockland County, said David Shipper, a spokesman for the organization.

"Dr. Friedman was a wonderful person who gave [of] himself for over three decades," Shipper said. "Unfortunately, when a life is cut short, it becomes ever more senseless when it is an individual who is responsible for saving hundreds, if not thousands, of lives."

Friedman was influential in the organization, crafting policies and procedures and leading classes on various topics, according to a statement released Sunday afternoon by Chevra Hatzalah.

“Dr. Friedman always took the time out of his busy schedule to assist our volunteers when they sought his advice or needed his guidance,” the statement said.

He is survived by his wife Cheryl and their eight children.

Funeral services for Friedman were Sunday, at Darchei Torah, 257 Beach 17th St. in Far Rockaway.

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