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Amityville pastor critical after hit by car

A co-pastor of an Amityville church - whose brother founded a row around Long Island to raise funds for breast cancer research - was hit by a car and seriously injured, Suffolk police said Wednesday.

Russell Murphy, 53, co-pastor of the Amityville Community Church, was struck at 10:55 p.m. Tuesday while he was walking toward his home after his car broke down on Sunrise Highway in Lindenhurst.

Murphy was in critical condition Wednesday at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip and was scheduled to undergo surgery for the first problem doctors wanted to tackle - two broken legs, said his brother, Rick Shalvoy. He also suffered injuries to his shoulder, ribs and lungs, Shalvoy said.

"It's just one of these terrible, terrible situations. You never know when it is going to happen to you," Shalvoy said, adding that his brother was a "wonderful, wonderful human being."

Shalvoy started the Row for a Cure fundraiser in which he rows around Long Island in a small boat to raise money for research into fighting breast cancer.

The church's other co-pastor, John Davis, said Murphy was returning from a "good deed" trip to minister to a friend when he was struck.

Police said Murphy was struck by a 1994 Buick driven by Kevin Kreutzberg, 18, of Lindenhurst. No charges were filed against Kreutzberg, whom Shalvoy praised for immediately calling 911 and staying with Murphy.

Police said after Murphy's car broke down he started walking toward his home on Albany Avenue in North Amityville. He was a short distance away and walking in the westbound turning lane under the overpass at Wellwood Avenue when he was hit.

Lindenhurst Fire Rescue transported Murphy to Good Samaritan Hospital.

An investigation into the accident was continuing, police said, and Kreutzberg's car was impounded for a safety check.

Shalvoy said his brother has spent years working with mentally disabled adults at Association for the Help of Retarded Children in Plainview. The two have different last names because of divorces in the family.

The Amityville Community Church where Murphy serves as co-pastor is a small church that rents out space at the VFW Post on Broadway Avenue in Amityville, Shalvoy said.

"If there were more Russells in the world," said co-pastor Davis, "the world would be a better place."


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