The off-duty Suffolk County police officer who allegedly drove the wrong way on Sunrise Highway, hitting and killing another driver, had a blood alcohol level more than two times the legal limit, prosecutors say.
The officer, 24-year-old Robert Scheuerer, had a BAC of .17 percent, more than twice the legal limit, toxicology tests performed by the Suffolk County crime lab show. The test results were released Wednesday by the Suffolk County district attorney's office, who said the off-duty officer had been drinking at a bar before the crash.
Scheuerer was driving his 2000 Nissan Pathfinder in the wrong direction on the westbound side of the the highway when he crashed into a Ford van between exits 39 and 40 in West Islip shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, Suffolk County police say.
The van caught fire, and the driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene, his body burned beyond recognition. Police have tentatively identified the man, but will need a DNA test before they release a name.
Scheuerer was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of felony first-degree reckless endangerment at Southside Hospital, where he remains in serious condition, prosecutors said. Cash bail was set $150,000, and he is set to appear in court on Nov. 17.
His attorney William Petrillo said to NBC 4 New York, "It would be very wise and very responsible for anyone assessing this case not to pre-judge it and to wait until it all comes out."
Suffolk police say he has been suspended without pay.