Northway crash survivor to address driving dangers Monday at local high school

COXSACKIE, N.Y. — A survivor of the tragic Northway accident just over two years ago that killed two local students and injured two others will talk with local students about the dangers of distracted driving

Former Shaker High School student Bailey Wind, will about the accident that took the lives of her friends, Shen students Deanna Rivers and Christopher Stewart. The accident left her and Shen student Matthew Hardy with severe injuries.

Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers, killed in a tragic Northway accident in December 2012.
Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers, killed in a tragic Northway accident in December 2012.

Specifically, she will be talking about driving while intoxicated or texting — both of which the driver of the car that hit her and her friends, Dennis Drue, was found to be doing at the time of the accident.

Drue pleaded guilty just days before his trial was set to begin in September 2013 to 58 counts for causing the deadly crash. He was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in state prison in December 2013.

District Attorney Jim Murphy said Drue’s blood alcohol content was over the legal limit at the time of the crash, and he was also impaired by drugs. Prosecutors have also said marijuana and drug paraphilia were found in his car. He also said Drue drove up the Northway toward Saratoga County when he began to text another person while driving. As Drue approached what became the area of the crash, NYSP accident reconstruction experts said his speed was nearly 80 miles per hour. Eye witnesses to the crash told authorities that he never used his brakes before impact.

Chris Stewart's vehicle after the crash.
Chris Stewart’s vehicle after the crash.

It was later determined that Drue had 8.4 nanograms/milliliter of active byproduct of marijuana THC in his blood stream, an extremely high quantity. According to authorities, this level would affect his reaction time and capability to control his muscle movement.

The speaking event will be held Monday at the Coxsackie-Athens High School at 1 p.m.

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