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Governor creates fellowship for aide killed in LIE crash

David M. Schwartz

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has created a state fellowship to honor a former Long Island aide killed this summer in a horrific car crash on the Long Island Expressway, he announced Monday.

The two-year Scott Martella Fellowship will be awarded to recent graduates committed to public service with a passion for helping others, Cuomo said in a news release. Scott Martella, 29, of Northport, was among six people who died in the Aug. 21 crash in Manorville.

“Scott believed in government’s potential to improve lives and worked day in and day out in pursuit of this principle,” Cuomo said in the statement. “With this fellowship, we will help ensure his legacy and public service will continue and endure for years to come.”

Martella’s mother, Stacy Martella, said Monday she was glad her son would be remembered.

“We are honestly just so honored and touched and so grateful to have his name continue to live on,” she said in an interview. “You don’t want them to forget.”

The fellow will work on community outreach at the state Department of Labor, where Martella served for over a year as a representative before being hired as communications director to County Executive Steve Bellone. Martella began working for the governor’s office in 2011.

Bellone, in a statement, said the fellowship will allow other young people “to be exposed to governmental structure and public service” and he thanked Cuomo for “his willingness to keep Scott’s legacy alive.”

An airborne Subaru Outback coming from the other direction crushed Martella’s 2014 Honda and a 2016 BMW. Martella’s fiancee, Shelbi Thurau, who was a passenger in the Honda, survived and was released from hospital the next day.

The Scott Martella fellow will be selected from the “Excelsior Service Fellowship Program” created by Cuomo in 2013 to find students and recent graduates to work at executive branch agencies. The fellowship is open to those with graduate or law degrees.

The first Scott Martella Fellow will be selected from the class of 2017-2019. The Martella fellow will get a mentor at the Department of Labor and update the Martella family periodically on his or her work at the program.