Thomas Stavola, of East Setauket, arraigned on fatal DWI charge in crash that killed Monica Peterman, of Middle Island
CENTRAL ISLIP - The East Setauket doctor accused of driving drunk and killing a hospital worker was arraigned on a DWI charge in Central Islip Sunday.
Police say Thomas Stavola was heading north on Route 111 in a 2013 Audi when he struck a 2009 Mercedes driven by 45-year-old Monica Peterman, of Middle Island. Peterman had been heading west on East Main Street when her car was struck.
According to prosecutors, Stavola fled the scene after he crashed into Peterman’s car. Police arrested him about a block away from the crash site.
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According to court documents, Stavola told police after his arrest, "I had a beer before. I went to a bar… I veered off the road and hit a curb. It was around Route 111 and Route 25. I got out of my car and started walking. The police found me a block away."
Peterman died from her injuries at St. Catherine's Hospital in Smithtown, where she also worked as a dialysis technician for 18 years. Her three sons stood together in the Central Islip courthouse Sunday morning calling for justice.
"She held us together. She was the glue to this family and we just want justice to be served," said Justin Greaves.
Stavola is a cardiologist with ties to multiple Suffolk hospitals.
The assistant district attorney told the judge during the arraignment that she expects the charges to be upgraded after an investigation.
Stavola was freed after posting bail. His next court date is June 20.