The Suffolk County police officer accused of driving while drunk the wrong way on Sunrise Highway, and killing another motorist in a head-on crash, was fired from the police department Friday morning, police said.
Robert Scheuerer, 24, had been suspended without pay since the September crash that killed Brian J. Fusaro, 37.
“It is vital that the department take all appropriate steps in connection with this case, both in terms of criminal investigation and internally, which we have done and will continue to do,” said police spokesman Justin Meyers. “Officer Robert Scheuerer was arrested on the day of the crash and immediately suspended without pay. It has now been determined that termination is appropriate under these circumstances.”
Scheuerer’s attorney, William Petrillo of Garden City, declined to comment.
Noel DiGerolamo, president of the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association, the union representing the department’s patrol force, did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Scheuerer was charged in an eight-count indictment in December with aggravated vehicular homicide, several lesser homicide charges, second-degree reckless endangerment and aggravated driving while intoxicated.
He faces a maximum of 9 1⁄3 years to 26 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Scheuerer, who was on the job for about one year and was assigned to the Third Precinct, pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have said Scheuerer had a blood-alcohol level of 0.17 percent — more than twice the legal threshold of 0.08 percent — on Sept. 27 when he crashed his 2000 Nissan Pathfinder into a 2016 Ford van. The van caught fire, killing its driver, Fusaro of Bay Shore.
According to prosecutors, Scheuerer had been drinking at a bar before driving the wrong way on the highway. The officer forced other motorists to swerve out of his way before the fatal crash in West Islip, prosecutors have said.
According to a transcript of Scheuerer’s arraignment at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore — which acting Suffolk County Court Judge David Morris barred the news media from attending — several motorists “flashed their lights” to get Scheuerer’s attention as he traveled east on westbound Sunrise Highway before the 4:37 a.m. crash in rainy weather, Assistant District Attorney Marc Lindemann said.
“One tractor trailer had to slam on his brakes and swerve out of the way of the oncoming vehicle,” Lindemann said at the arraignment. “Another motorist had to pull over onto the shoulder to avoid a crash.”
Scheuerer is the son of Suffolk County police Sgt. Peter Scheuerer, a 27-year veteran of the force, sources have said.