Matthew Berkoski, 40, Found Dead in Car



Matthew Berkoski
Matthew Berkoski

By Stephen J. Kotz

The wife of Matthew Berkoski, 40, who was found dead in his SUV at Mashashimuet Park on Saturday afternoon, said she was still waiting for the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office to provide her with the cause of death.

Dawn Berkoski said her husband, who had a varied career as a Hollywood stunt double, carpenter and skateboarder, had “some health issues,” but would not elaborate.

Sag Harbor Village Police said there did not appear to be any sign of foul play.

A passerby called police at about 2 p.m. to report there was an unconscious man in a white Toyota 4 Runner parked to the west of the park’s playground along the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. Several police officers, including Chief Tom Fabiano, converged on the scene, where they determined he was dead and blocked off his SUV with police vehicles and waited for the medical examiner’s office to remove his body.

“He was a really awesome guy, a very cool guy,” Ms. Berkoski said. “He did a lot in a short life.”

Ms. Berkoski said her husband was born on June 9, 1975, in Bridgehampton and was the son of Louis and Carol Berkoski.

“As a child he spent time playing in the woods behind his house” along the Long Pond Greenbelt,” she said, adding she hoped to hold a memorial service there and perhaps dedicate a bench on one of the trails there.

Ms. Berkoski said her son competed in karate tournaments as a boy and developed in interest in music as a teenager. She said he played bass in a number of local bands.

He was also an avid and skilled skateboarder from a young age and continued to skate to stay connected to his board, she said. He competed nationally and won the 2001 Vans World Championship of Amateur Skateboarding, she said. He also was involved in the building of skateboard ramps and worked on many skate parks both locally and nationally, including those in Greenport and Montauk.

His passion for all things extreme led him to pursue hobbies like scuba diving, surfing, skydiving and eventually culminated in a career as a stunt man, she said.

Mr. Berkoski was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors. He appeared in movies and television series including “Inside Man,” “Be Kind Rewind,” where he doubled for Jack Black, “She Hate Me,” “Mercy,” “30 Rock,” “Mall Cop” and “The Big Wedding,” where he was the stunt double for the late Robin Williams.

Ms. Berkoski said her husband was also a skilled woodworker who took great pride in his craftsmanship and his creativity, ingenuity and attention to detail were respected by many.