Victim's family gets $1M in hit-run DWI crash

Centerport resident Douglas Davis pleaded guilty to aggravated Centerport resident Douglas Davis pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He is now serving three to ten years in prison. (Jan. 24, 2009) Photo Credit: SCPD

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The family of a 25-year-old Valley Stream woman killed in a hit-and-run drunken driving crash in 2009 will get $1 million in a civil settlement, attorneys in the case said Wednesday.

Melissa Scherr was lost and driving slowly on Route 110 in Melville three years ago when Douglas Davis, 44, of Centerport, crashed into her car and fled the scene, prosecutors said at the time.

Davis pleaded guilty later that year to aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He was sentenced to 3 1/3 to 10 years in prison.

This week, Scherr's family was awarded $1 million in the case, to be paid by the company that insured Davis' car, said Mineola attorney Charles Gucciardo, who represents the family.

"No matter what happens, it will never change the fact that Melissa is gone," said the victim's mother, Rose Scherr, of Valley Stream. "One day Davis will get to go home and start his life over."

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Mineola attorney Thomas Martyn, who represented Davis, did not respond to a request for comment.

"This family will never be the same," said Frank Cassisi, a second attorney for the Scherr family. "They have not been able to get past their grief."

Davis, who was alone in his GMC pickup on Jan. 24, 2009, struck Scherr's Nissan 200SX from behind near the intersection of Schwab Road, throwing her car off the road and into a utility pole.

Scherr was headed home from her boyfriend's house when she encountered a road closure and got lost, her family said.

Moments after the crash, Davis was spotted in a nearby parking lot, where he got out of his truck, checked the damage and drove away, police said.

He was caught later by a volunteer firefighter from Huntington Station who left his house after getting a call about the crash, police said. He spotted Davis' mangled truck driving down the road and followed him, police said.

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