Tuesday January 8, 2013

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- A 22-year-old college student has been charged with vehicular homicide and numerous other felonies including driving while impaired by alcohol and marijuana after a car crash last month that killed two high school students on Interstate 87 in Saratoga County.

Dennis Drue pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday to a 59-count indictment. Drue was released after posting $50,000 bail. He had been held in the Saratoga County Jail Sunday night after a grand jury handed up the sealed indictment against him.

Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said Drue is accused of driving while impaired by marijuana and alcohol, but he declined to specify what Drue’s blood-alcohol level was. Murphy said the test wasn’t done until hours after the crash. Charges were not filed immediately after the accident because toxicology and accident reconstruction reports took a while to complete, Murphy said.

State police investigators say Drue, of Halfmoon, rear-ended a 2004 Ford Explorer driven by 17-year-old Chris Stewart, causing it to roll several times and crash. Stewart and 17-year-old Deanna Rivers were killed. Both were seniors at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park.

Two other high school students were severely injured in the Dec. 1 crash.

In addition to vehicular homicide, Drue was charged with vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault, reckless driving, unlawful possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and a number of other charges.