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Arrest made in fatal Northway crash

Dennis Drue arraigned on 59 counts, including DWI and DWAI

Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy takes questions after Dennis Drue was arraigned in a county court.

Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy takes questions after Dennis Drue was arraigned in a county court. Photo by Marci Revette.

— Murphy also argued Drue is a flight risk because he has previously fled the scene of an accident and failed to appear in court to answer traffic tickets.

Scarano set bail at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond and Drue posted the bail and was released from Saratoga County jail Monday afternoon. The conditions of the bail include the surrender of his driver’s license, which was legal at the time of the accident, and the surrender of a shotgun. Drue must also not be in possession of any controlled substances while out on bail.

Speaking after the arraignment, Coffey professed his client’s innocence.

“We don’t apologize for one minute, and I understand this was a terrible accident, but we are pleading not guilty and I want to be very clear about that,” he said. “We’re going to contest this indictment. I know there’s 59 counts but we don’t intend — and I’ll make this very clear — to go 58 out of 59. That plea is all 59 counts.”

Coffey also intimated Drue would not get a fair trial, in part because of the extensive media coverage of the crash, victims and Drue himself in the weeks following the incident.

“What do we have, 20 people here today?” said Coffey, in reference to gathered reporters. “How many of these 20 people think he’s not guilty? The reality of the public’s reaction to a terrible accident is that he is guilty.”

During a press conference following the arraignment, Murphy said authorities hope to prove Drue’s BAC level at the time of the crash, not when his blood was drawn several hours later at the hospital. He did not disclose what BAC police recorded then, though.

“There are ways to look at determining the actual BAC using tools, as to what the BAC could have been at the time of the crash,” said Murphy. “We feel confident we can sustain our burden of proof in the charge of DWI.

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