Update: Six-Year-Old Killed by Car in Water Mill

Posted on 18 June 2014

Tess Burstein, 6, was killed by a car Sunday afternoon while crossing the road by her family's summer home in Water Mill.

Tess Burstein, 6, was killed by a car driven by her neighbor Sunday afternoon while crossing the road by her family’s summer home in Water Mill.

By Tessa Raebeck

Six-year-old Tess Burstein was hit and killed by a car Sunday, June 15, while crossing Blank Lane in Water Mill.

According to the Southampton Town Police Department, at around 11:19 a.m. Tess was crossing the road when a Toyota Prius traveling north hit her. She was taken to Southampton Hospital and then to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she was treated for critical injuries.

On Monday, a spokesperson from Stony Brook University Hospital confirmed that the girl had died from her injuries at 4:49 p.m. Sunday.

The driver of the Toyota, Maurice Wittenberg, 76, and his wife Harriet, 76, who was also in the car, were not injured in the crash.

The car was impounded for a safety check and no criminal charges have been filed at this time.

Tess is the daughter of Josef Burstein, 46, and Annabel Vered, 43. She leaves behind a 9-year-old brother and 4-year-old sister.

Mr. Burstein is an investment banker with UBS and his wife, Ms. Vered, was an editor at Life&Style, Star and InTouch celebrity magazines before becoming the top editor at the celebrity weekly Closer last year.

The Bursteins split their time between their Blank Lane home and a residence in Manhattan. Mr. Wittenberg, a retired chemist, and his wife, a retired teacher, are their neighbors in Water Mill.

The Burstein family was having a barbecue in celebration of Father’s Day Sunday afternoon when Tess, who was playing in the front yard, ran out into the road to reach her friend on the other side, police said.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have more information or who may have witnessed the accident to call (631) 702-2230.

The tragedy comes a year after the death of 14-year-old Anna Mirabai Lytton last June in East Hampton. The Springs School student was hit and killed by a car driven by Maria Brennan, 73, while riding her bike near the CVS on Pantigo Road.

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- who has written 450 posts on The Sag Harbor Express.

Arts Editor and Education Reporter for the Sag Harbor Express. Covering the East End with a focus on arts, education and the police blotter. Twitter: @TessaRaebeck

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6 Responses to “Update: Six-Year-Old Killed by Car in Water Mill”

  1. Greg Kirwan says:

    I can’t imagine what a thoughtless idiot ‘Not PC’ would have to be to say something so tasteless and disturbing when this family is in such pain. You must be out of your mind. I guess that’s why you don’t use your real name. You’re a coward and the shame you refer to is on you.

    Equally, The Express should not post such a cold, heartless reply…

  2. Jean Berardi says:

    OMG.. My heart aches for the family. What a beautiful little girl. And my heart aches for the poor guy driving the car. Imagine how awful he must feel. Accidents happen in an instant and our lives get turned around.

  3. Greg Kirwan says:

    Who are you people that you need to blame these parents for the death of their daughter? How do you know they weren’t watching her? This is an accident of unspeakable tragedy to this family and you have to call them leftists, and liberals and accuse them of wrong-doing? Do you know where Blank Lane is? It’s one of the quietest, and longest dead-end streets in all the Hamptons. Its a safe place to raise a family. Have a little empathy for these people who have lost a child, and keep your social commentary to yourselves.

  4. Several comments have been removed from this page by the Express due to their defamatory, obscene and abusive nature and targeting of specific individuals without supporting facts.

  5. Pat Cartino says:

    The horrible, insensitive and ignorant comments should never have been posted to begin with. They weren’t removed soon enough for many people to have seen them. My thoughts are with the family and loved ones of little Tess as well as with the Wittenberg family. None of their lives will ever be the same.


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