A Bay Shore man was drunk when he crashed his motorcycle on Sunrise Highway early Sunday, killing his wife of two years who was riding behind him, Suffolk County police said.
The crash had friends and family members in mourning -- and the 26-year-old Army combat veteran charged with driving while intoxicated.
Michael R. Proctor was driving his 2000 Kawasaki motorcycle east on the highway about 12:30 a.m. when he lost control at the Robert Moses Causeway exit in West Islip, police said.More coverageComplete coverage: Suspected DWI crashes, arrests on LI
His wife, Megan, also 26, was taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip where she was pronounced dead, police said.
Michael Proctor was also taken to Good Samaritan, with injuries that police said were not life-threatening. He remained at the hospital Sunday night and hadn't yet been arraigned on the misdemeanor charge.
The couple moved back to Long Island from North Carolina recently and celebrated their anniversary a week ago, family members said.
" 'Oh my God!' was the first thing I said this morning when the cops banged on my door while I was sleeping," Megan Proctor's mother, Maureen Lawless of Deer Park, said Sunday.
Michael Proctor and Megan Schnepf grew up in Dix Hills, both graduating from high school in 2007, relatives said. He attended Half Hollow High School West; she went to Half Hollow East.
He enlisted in the Army in 2009 and the two met for the first time at his going-away party, according to Chris Pavlat, a friend of Proctor's since childhood.
Proctor served in the 170th Infantry Brigade, which deployed in February 2011 to Afghanistan. During a year in combat, he lost eight friends, said Pavlat, 26, of Bay Shore.
Megan Proctor, a cook who attended culinary school in Connecticut, moved to North Carolina after she married, according to her maternal grandmother, Frances Lawless of Inverness, Florida.
Lawless described her granddaughter as a "gorgeous girl" and "sweet, kind, loving person" who dreamed of one day owning a restaurant.
Megan Proctor had been working at a deli recently while looking for another job, the grandmother said.
Pavlat said Michael Proctor landed a job with a heating and air conditioning company. "He was just trying to assimilate to civilian life and seemed to have been succeeding at it," he said.
Megan Proctor's stepmother, Deb Schnepf of North Patchogue, said the family was stunned by the tragedy.
"I don't know how he's going to be able to go on," she said of Michael Proctor.
Detectives ask anyone with information about the crash to contact the police department's Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6555.