Family heartbroken after Murrells Inlet man dies in NY crash; driver charged


NEW BERLIN, N.Y (WKTV) — A family is heartbroken after their son, Jonathan Mayzak, was struck by a car while crossing a road at a Motocross event in New York.

His family chose to take him off of life support Sunday morning. Jonathan, 20, is from Murrels Inlet, according to the Pro Motocross Championship site. He was a pro motocross racer and was planning to marry in October and take a cruise for a honeymoon.

Jonathan was struck on Friday while walking to the Unadilla Racetrack for a major Motocross event, CBS affiliate WKTV reported. “Just before 9 o’clock the troopers were working in the area of Unadilla Sports Center because there was a major Motocross event going on,” said NYSP Troop C Captain Scott Heggelke. “So they were alerted to a subject who had been struck by a car that was on Route 8.”

The driver, Edward Burnett, 31, of Utica was driving down Route 8 Friday evening when he struck Jonathan, according to troopers. Troopers later determined that Burnett was impaired and charged him with DWAI. 

Matthew Mayzak, Jonathan’s brother, was with him when he was hit. “I was about to start walking,” Matthew said, “he said hold on and grabbed me and said, ‘there’s a car coming. ‘So he looked left, waited for the car to pass; he looked right, there was no car coming behind that that we could see. 

“He took two steps out, he got hit. It was so close. I tried to grab him, I had his shirt in my hand,” Matthew said. “The car barely missed me. It had no lights on and there was just nothing we could do; on impact, he was gone.”

The family set up a memorial at the site of the incident.

Brian Leachmen, Jonathan’s father, said it was the lack of safety precautions that got his son killed. “You know these cars zoom by here at 50 or 60 miles an hour,” he said. “And our son got hit and he got killed because there were not the proper safety precautions, in my opinion.”

A toxicology report of the driver won’t be complete for another few weeks.

The District Attorney’s office said that they are waiting to get the full facts of the Investigation before increasing the charges. 

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