LEE — Friends and neighbors of the young man killed in last week's car crash are raising money so he can return to his homeland.
Raghav Pathak, 23, died in Thursday's early morning single-car crash on Fairview Street near via Maria, Lee Police said on Monday.
Local and state police are jointly investigating the cause of the crash, although Lee Police Chief Jeff Roosa has said speed may have been a factor. Lee Police didn't immediately identify Pathak, a 2011 graduate of Lee Middle and High School, until his close relatives living in India were notified.
Pathak was driving a 2010 Hyundai Genesis about 2:30 a.m. Thursday when it left the road and struck a tree near 430 Fairview St., according to police.
Lee firefighters who responded to the scene had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate the Pathak from the car. He was taken by Lee Ambulance Service to Berkshire Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Once friends learned later on Thursday that Pathak was the crash victim, they immediately began to express their sorrow and condolences on social media.
On Sunday, Levi Garner and Randi Craft created a GoFundMe account for their neighbors the Pathak family to help with funeral expenses as they want to bring the young man back to his native India. Within the first day, 40 people had donated a total of $1,750.
"We could feel the pain as we entered the Pathak household to give our condolences," Garner and Craft posted with the GoFundMe account. "They are sweet, generous, hard-working, and caring people who do not deserve the pain they are now enduring."
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.