Christopher DeCrescito left home for his job Wednesday like any other day, though he had no ordinary commute.
DeCrescito, 46, of Franklin Square drove to the LIRR's Valley Stream station and boarded the train for Penn Station. From there, he took a bus to the West Side docks and a ferry to his job as head of regulatory reporting for the global financial firm UBS in Weehawken, N.J. He'd reverse the trip daily for the ride home.
But this time, he didn't make it.
Nassau police said a drunken driver ran a red light and slammed into his car just minutes before he would have arrived home at about 9:15 p.m.
Police have charged Brian P. Daly, 24, of 45 Comber St., Valley Stream, with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.
Denise DeCrescito, the victim's wife of 17 years, yesterday recalled her high school sweetheart as the consummate husband who could juggle a demanding job and raise three children.
"The most important thing . . . he was a great husband and father," she said, surrounded by friends and family at home. "No matter what it involved, he didn't miss anything."
The couple's children, Amanda, 12, Sabrina, 9, and Nicholas, 8, are devastated, she said.
Since 2011, Christopher DeCrescito made that grueling commute.
"He was almost home," said Denise, who since being diagnosed in 1999 with multiple sclerosis has had to use a walker and a wheelchair to get around.
He managed to work full time and take care of the children when she was hospitalized in 2007 through the beginning of 2009 while she battled the illness.
"The last thing I heard from him was a text message telling me he was in Jamaica [Station] at 8:49 p.m. and that he would be home soon," she said.
"An hour later he was in the hospital," she added before beginning to sob. "He was gone."
The DeCrescitos met while she was a junior in high school and he was a senior.
She attended Valley Stream Central High School. He attended St. Mary's High School, then an all-boys school in Manhasset. The two dated throughout college, with Christopher commuting to New York University and Denise attending Hofstra University.
They had met on a Feb. 11 at a cast party held at Valley Stream Central High School through a mutual friend, Rich Dee, now 46, of Seaford. A few days later, Christopher brought Denise roses for Valentine's Day.
"He had the greatest sense of humor and he was a smart man," Dee said.
And on Feb. 17 of that year, Christopher asked Denise to be his girlfriend. They just celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary on Feb. 17.
She said her daughters are distraught and she could hardly muster the strength to tell her 8-year-old son the bad news.
"His greatest joy was being a dad," she said. "That's why he worked hard -- for them. . . . He wasn't done, he was 46. He was too young for someone to decide he was done."