The Suffolk County medical examiner’s office on Tuesday identified the man killed in a September crash with an off-duty Suffolk police officer who was driving drunk and the wrong way on Sunrise Highway in West Islip, police said.
The remains of Brian J. Fusaro, 37, of Pine Aire Drive in Bay Shore, were positively identified by a DNA match with a family member, said Suffolk police Assistant Commissioner Justin Meyers, a department spokesman.
Fusaro’s family could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday, but friends said he was a longtime employee at the All Custom Closet Corp. in Bay Shore. He was driving a company van at the time of the crash, police said.
Robert Scheuerer, 24, an officer in the Third Precinct in Bay Shore, had a blood alcohol content level of 0.17 percent — more than twice the level at which one is presumed to be intoxicated — at the time of the crash, according to toxicology tests performed by the Suffolk crime lab, officials have said. The legal state threshold for intoxicated driving is 0.08 percent.
Scheuerer had been drinking at a bar Sept. 27 when he drove the wrong way on Sunrise Highway, leaving other motorists swerving to avoid him before the fatal accident, prosecutors have said.
Scheuerer pleaded not guilty on a felony charge of reckless endangerment and posted $250,000 bail after his arraignment last month, state online records show. His attorney, William Petrillo, said Tuesday night his client is still hospitalized and recovering.
Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, speaking last week at a news briefing at police headquarters in Yaphank, said he did not foresee Scheuerer, who was suspended without pay on the day of the crash, ever again serving in the department.
“We’ll certainly be seeking termination on this case, obviously,” Sini said.
Petrillo, in response to Sini’s comments, said Tuesday night: “The commissioner and everyone else should hold off judgment until all of the facts and circumstances are fairly litigated in court.”
According to a transcript of Scheuerer’s arraignment at South Side 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 in a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder SUV before the 4:37 a.m. crash in rainy weather, Suffolk 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 during the arraignment. “Another motorist had to pull over onto the shoulder to avoid a crash.”
A spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office has said the toxicology tests would be presented to a grand jury for possible additional charges.
Petrillo said after the arraignment that it would be “wise and responsible not to prejudge this case until the credibility of these allegations have been tested.”
Scheuerer, on the force for a year, was suspended without pay hours after the crash, police said. He is the son of Suffolk police Sgt. Peter Scheuerer, a 27-year veteran of the force, sources have said.