Setauket Doctor Facing Upgraded Charges in Fatal DWI Crash

A doctor has been indicted on upgraded charges for allegedly driving drunk, crashing into another car, killing a woman and fleeing the scene in Smithtown six months ago.

Dr. Thomas Stavola, a cardiologist from Setauket, pleaded not guilty Monday at Suffolk County court to the new charges, which include second-degree manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. He was previously charged with driving while intoxicated.

“What I found most troubling is the fact that a physician chose not to render any kind of aid or use his cellphone to call 911 to get some assistance for a seriously injured motorist,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “Witnesses who came upon the crash scene said the defendant suddenly left and began walking west on Route 25.”

Prosecutors said Stavola was driving an Audi northbound on Route 111 when his car broadsided a westbound Mercedes at the corner of East Main Street shortly before 4 a.m. on Saturday, June 14.

The other driver, 45-year-old Monica Peterman of Middle Island, was taken to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, where she died. At the time, the mother of three was driving to her job as an X-Ray technician at that hospital.

Stavola’s had a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent at the time, according to investigators.

A police sergeant who was responding to the scene apprehended the suspect as he was walking briskly, with his head down, 500 feet away from the crash, authorities said.

Judge Fernando Camacho continued bail for the doctor at $250,000. He is due back in court on Feb. 4.