A single-car crash Saturday afternoon at an East Farmingdale cemetery killed a man and his 11-year-old son, Suffolk police said.
Ravi Maharaj, 44, of North Amityville, was driving a 1995 Nissan Maxima south on New Highway, about a mile south of Conklin Street when he lost control of the car about 4 p.m., police said.
Police said the vehicle struck a fence and numerous headstones inside St. Charles/Resurrection Cemeteries, causing extensive damage to the front end of the Maxima.
Maharaj was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
His son, Lochan Maharaj, was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, where he was pronounced dead.
Michael Holstenson of London, Ontario, who identified himself as Maharaj's cousin, said Maharaj was "one of the most loving, caring people I've ever met."
"My family is very broken by this horrifying news," he said.
Stunned and distraught neighbors gathered outside the family's home Saturday night, consoling one another.
"It's just a tragedy, what happened today," said Desiree Martinez, 39. "This neighborhood just won't be the same without him. He was this neighborhood."
Martinez said she saw Maharaj and his son washing their car in the driveway of their home on Dr. Reed Boulevard Saturday morning -- a weekly ritual. She said he was married and worked nights, and would often ride bikes or play basketball with his son and daughter in the daytime.
Jeanne Malaxos, 46, said Maharaj and his family would share plants from their garden with neighbors and keep an eye on their homes.
"They're just a lovely family," she said. "He just always took care of everything."
Carlos Lopez, 43, said Maharaj moved into the neighborhood several years ago and soon became the "unofficial mayor" of the new development, The Oaks. He said Maharaj was known for his impeccable lawn and friendly demeanor.
He was "a very kind man," Lopez said. "His handshake was even gentle."
Holstenson said Maharaj was a bus mechanic for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and his son wanted to be an engineer.
An MTA spokesman could not confirm Maharaj's employment last night.
First Squad detectives were investigating the crash. Details about what may have caused the accident were not released.
Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, which operates the cemeteries, did not respond to requests for comment.