Family remembers ‘compassionate’ man killed in crash

COURTESY PHOTO | John Scorzelli Jr. with his children Odin, 9, and Honor, 7, and wife Maria.

The Reeves Park father of two who died in a car accident on Sound Avenue Saturday morning was “born to be a husband and a father,” mourning family members said Monday.

“His family was so important to him,” said sister-in-law Sonia Montalbano. “It wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about material things. It was about family.”

John Scorzelli Jr., 46, was killed when the 2006 Mazda sedan he was driving collided with a 2005 KIA SUV just east of Horton Avenue about 12:30 a.m., Riverhead police said.

Witnesses said the eastbound Mazda appeared to have lost control going around a curve in the road and crossed into the westbound lane going sideways, directly into the path of the KIA traveling west.

Mr. Scorzelli was treated at the scene by Riverhead ambulance volunteers and transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center, but later died of his injuries, police said.

The operator of the Kia, Lia Fallon, 43, of Port Jefferson, was not seriously injured, according to a police statement.

Ms. Fallon is the executive chef and owner of Amarelle across from the Duck Ponds in Wading River and Bistro 72 at the Hotel Indigo in Riverhead; she was released from the hospital Saturday.

There were no charges issued as a result of the accident, police said. The detective investigating the cause of the accident could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Scorzelli was a devoted family man, his wife Maria said. He worked two jobs as a physician’s assistant at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital and at a sleep apnea center in Smithtown so she could spend more time with their two children: Odin, 9, and Honor, who turns 8 years old next week.

Mr. Scorzelli would play lacrosse with Honor and spend time looking for garter snakes and turtles in the woods with Odin, the family said.

“He was a really great guy … he really was,” Ms. Scorzelli said, holding Honor in her arms. “I think that’s why he left so quickly. He did all he was put here to do.”

The wake for Mr. Scorzelli will be held tonight at the McLauglin Heppner Funeral Home on Marcy Avenue in Riverhead from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

A funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist in Riverhead.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Scorzelli Children Education Fund. Information about how to donate to the Fund will be made available at the wake Monday evening.

Read more about John Scorzelli Jr. in this Thursday’s edition of the Riverhead News-Review.

[email protected]