Another sacrifice for the American way of life. From the New York Post, July 20:


July 20, 2006 — A beloved Long Island priest taking an evening walk was killed by a hit- run, serial drunken driver on a leafy East Hampton street, police said yesterday.

Monsignor William Costello, 79, was struck Tuesday night by a careening minivan driven by 42-year-old Karen Fisher – a mom of two who had lost her license while awaiting trial for a previous DWI charge.

Cops said Fisher was caught in April chauf feuring her kids around with a blood- alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit.

The elderly cleric – a Garden City resident who was visiting his sister Alice in East Hampton – was tossed onto the hood of the vehicle and car ried some 60 feet into the yard of a nearby home, where he was sent flying through a wooden fence.

He was killed instantly, witnesses said. “His legs were all askew, sticking out oddly,” said Jo Anne Ryan, 59, who lives near the crash site on Woodbine Drive. “We rolled him over and he was very clearly dead.”

Despite the violence of the crash, which took place at about 7:45 p.m., Fisher kept on driving, cops said. Eventually, she returned to her home, which is not far from the accident scene.

“She didn’t attempt to stop, even a little bit,” said Ryan. “She didn’t make any attempt to help at all.”

The incident devastated friends and fellow clergy at St. Anne’s Church in Garden City, where the semi-retired priest lived.

“He had a great deal of common sense and a precious gift of gentle humor,” said Bishop William Murphy, of the Rockville Centre Roman Catholic Diocese. “He was a priest to the core of his being and a model to many younger priests.”

The Rev. Paul Rahilly recalled the monsignor’s holy habit of strolling while praying. Cops said Costello was just setting off on a long walk when the horror occurred.

“He would take long walks after dinner and would pray the rosary during those walks,” he said.

Fisher was arrested at her home shortly after the crash and charged with DWI, leaving the scene of a fatality and aggravated unlicensed driving – a list of charges that could get her nearly 10 years in jail.

Authorities obtained a warrant to test her blood, and she was found to have a 0.28 blood-alcohol level. The legal limit is 0.08.

She was ordered held on $100,000 bail yesterday.

Fisher faces separate DWI charges after she was caught on April 12 driving with a blood-alcohol level police said was 0.31 percent, said East Hampton Police Chief Todd Sarris.

She also was facing child-endangerment charges because her two sons, ages 8 and 11, were in the car during that incident.

That came after a 2003 incident in which Fisher was arrested for DWI but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while impaired.

Her husband declined to comment when reached at their home.

See more reasons WHY WE FIGHT.