Driver in Northway crash has previous arrest on record

Friday December 7, 2012

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- The Siena College student who crashed his car into an SUV carrying four high school students, killing Shenendehowa High School seniors Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers over the weekend, used to go by a different name before an arrest four years ago.

The Albany County Sheriff's Department confirmed Wednesday that Dennis Drue, 22, changed his last name -- from Toomer to Drue -- sometime after a 2008 arrest for fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana and resisting arrest, misdemeanors. He spent a night in jail for the charges.

Police say Drue failed an alcohol pre-screening test following Saturday's accident on the Northway between the Twin Bridges and Exit 8, but those tests only indicate whether there was alcohol in the system, not how much or whether it was an illegal amount for driving.

Police and prosecutors say they are waiting on blood test results before filing any charges. Saratoga County District Attorney James

Murphy III said Tuesday that the New York State Police Crime Lab, which handles forensics for cases throughout the state, may expedite the tests because of the deaths and serious injuries involved.

Murphy confirmed Wednesday via Twitter that prosecutors and crime victim specialists from his office met with crash survivors Bailey Wind, a Shaker High School senior, and Matthew Hardy, a Shenendehowa High School junior, and their families.

A call to Murphy was not immediately returned Wednesday.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions