Dover couple and their son killed in car crash in New York state

A Dover couple and their son were killed in a car crash in New York state Saturday when a SUV crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with their vehicle.

Patrick D. Krolak, 72, his wife Rita Krolak, 70, and their son, Patrick M. Krolak, 42, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to New York State Police.

The elder Krolak was a longtime computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His son, who was behind the wheel, lived in Chicago.

The SUV flipped over after the crash and burst into flames. Another driver stopped his car and pulled the driver of the SUV, Peter Patrenicola, from the wreckage.


Patrenicola, 62, is in serious condition at a hospital in Burlington, Vt.

He was traveling north on Route 30 in Duane, N.Y., around 3 p.m. Saturday when his SUV crossed into the southbound lane, State Police said. The Krolaks’ car flipped from the impact and landed on its top, according to State Police.

Authorities said they were investigating what caused the accident. Duane is a small town located in the Adirondacks in northern New York.

Tom Costello, a longtime colleague of Patrick Krolak’s at UMass Lowell, said his death was a great loss. Krolak was an excellent researcher and instructor who mentored countless students over the years, he said.

“He respected them and he challenged them,’’ he said. “He was never wanting for a new idea.’’