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Initial test results returned on driver in double-fatal crash; authorities await further tests

Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Dennis Drue is pictured in a 2008 booking photo released Tuesday by the Albany County Sheriff's Office.
Dennis Drue is pictured in a 2008 booking photo released Tuesday by the Albany County Sheriff's Office.

— Test results on the blood sample from Dennis Drue have been returned, but authorities say they will withhold details until it can be probed for other substances.

Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III said he's discussed the results with the lead state police investigator in the case and they agreed further testing should be conducted before there is a decision to charge Drue.

He said the families of those injured and killed in the Northway crash understand that patience is necessary to allow for the proper tests to be conducted.

"The blood sample would normally be tested for a whole range of substances in the ordinary course of the investigation and that is what is being done here," he said in a joint statement released this afternoon. "It is important for us to allow the lab to do a thorough investigation rather than one that is based on artificial time tables. "

Eyewitness accounts given to police indicated that Drue, 22, was speeding in a 2004 Volvo in the far left northbound lane of the highway when he abruptly moved across the middle lane and into the far right lane. The Volvo then clipped the rear of a 2000 Ford Explorer being driven by 17-year-old Chris Stewart in that lane, causing it to flip several times before coming to rest on the side of the highway.

Stewart, who was a captain of the Shenendehowa football team, was killed in the crash. Deanna Rivers, a 17-year-old Shen softball player who was a passenger in the back seat, was flung from the wreck and also died.

Stewart's girlfriend of more than a year — 17-year-old Shaker High School senior Bailey Wind — suffered a serious neck injury in the crash. Matt Hardy, a 17-year-old teammate of Stewart who was dating Rivers, was also partially thrown from the vehicle and sustained several broken bones.

Wind was released from Albany Medical Center Hospital Wednesday evening. Hardy was still being kept there and is considered in fair condition.

 
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