Victim identified in wrong-way crash on Sunrise Highway
Police have identified the victim killed in a wrong-way crash on Sunrise Highway in September.
Police say Brian Fusaro, 37, was the van driver killed in West Islip. Fusaro was positively identified by a DNA match with a family member.
Police say Officer Robert Scheuerer, who was off duty, was driving the wrong way and hit the Bay Shore man's van, which caused it to ignite into flames.
Prosecutors say Scheuerer had a blood alcohol level of .17, more than two times the legal limit, at the time of the crash.
Assistant Suffolk Police Commissioner Justin Meyers said Wednesday that, "Officer Scheuerer was suspended without pay on the day of the accident pending the investigation and we will take all appropriate action upon the completion of the investigation. If the facts bear out what appears to be the case, then the department will seek termination."
Prosecutors say the off-duty officer had been drinking at a bar shortly before getting on Sunrise Highway. They say Scheuerer drove in the wrong direction and nearly caused several collisions.
According to court documents, a tractor-trailer driver had to slam on his brakes and swerve out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. Another motorist had to pull over on to the shoulder to avoid a crash.
Prosecutors say after narrowly missing other vehicles, the 24-year-old crashed head-on into Fusaro's van. Officer Scheuerer's attorney says his client is still in the hospital recovering.
"We must reserve judgement as there are important facts that have not been revealed, which will radically change the perception of this case," his lawyer says.
Bob Zollino, of All Custom Closet in Bay Shore, says Fusaro worked for him as a carpenter for 15 years. He called him an "extraordinary" and "talented" person.
"Just a great, all-around guy," he says. "Left before his time."