Canton, NY – A head on collision late Thursday night in upstate New York took the life of a respected Canadian Orthodox Jewish scientist.
Dr. Michael Linderman was driving east on Route 68 in Canton, New York when he was hit by an 82 year old driver traveling in the opposite direction, according to TheEagle.com.
Police said that the westbound driver crossed into the eastbound lanes to pass a car waiting to make a left turn across the two lane highway when he struck Linderman’s car.
Both men were driving Honda Fits and were declared dead at the scene. Police are continuing to investigate the crash scene and the road is expected to be closed until 5 PM today.
Dr. Linderman lived in Ottawa and made the 45 minute daily commute to Ogdensburg, New York, where he worked as president and chief scientist at Norconnect, Inc.
A Russian immigrant, Dr. Linderman was involved in developing technology used in cloud computing and the internet. He also created a digital hand that allowed users to input data to their computer using their regular handwriting, reported the Watertown Daily Times.
In addition to being used by those who find typing on a keyboard tedious, Dr. Linderman hoped that the glove, which detected electrical impulses from the user’s hand, could be used in prosthetics and to aid those with carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.
In his research on the digital glove, Dr. Linderman made several scientific discoveries that are being used to better understand neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.
His work was recognized by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense.
Rabbi Howard Finkelstein of Beit Tikvah of Ottawa described Dr. Linderman’s death as a terrible loss.
“He was a phenomenal person, a yeray shomayim who had a fine ehrlich family,” Rabbi Finkelstein told TOT News.
The Lindermans left Moscow for Toronto, settling in the Craig Henry neighborhood in Ottawa more than 12 years ago.
Rabbi Finkelstein said that Dr. Linderman, a father of three who had many grandchildren, considered himself to be a Bostoner chosid.
“He would sometimes come to shul in a kapota and a shtreimel,” said Rabbi Finkelstein. “A person who can preserve his frumkeit in Russia and come out intact is very rare.”
Chesed Shel Emes was called to the accident scene and provided assistance, with police continuing to investigate the crash through this afternoon.