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New York man sentenced in drunk driving case

A 59-year-old New York man who pleaded guilty to a single count of vehicular homicide has been sentenced to 19 years in prison. The Albany resident admitted that he had a blood alcohol concentration that was double the .08 legal driving limit when he was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident on May 25. The sentence was handed down following a sentencing hearing in Saratoga County on Nov. 21. The accident claimed the life of a 33-year-old man and his 32-year-old wife, and it left three people seriously injured. The group was on their way to a wedding when the crash occurred.

The drunk driving accident took place at the intersection of U.S. Route 9 and Ushers Road in Clifton Park at approximately 3 p.m. Police say the man lost control of his Dodge Ram pickup truck and struck the driver's side of a Cadillac sedan that was waiting at the intersection. The man behind the wheel of the Cadillac and his front-seat passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle's three rear-seat passengers were rushed to an area trauma center with injuries that were described as life-changing.

The man's plea agreement called for a custodial sentence of between six years and 19 years. The county court judge handed down the maximum sentence after hearing tearful victim impact statements from members of the couple's family and the three individuals who survived the accident. The man chose not to make a statement on his own behalf.

Drivers who cause serious injury or death while intoxicated face extremely severe penalties in New York, but that does not mean their victims have no civil remedies available. When the negligent motorists are incarcerated or deceased, experienced personal injury attorneys may file lawsuits against their insurance providers or estates. These lawsuits may seek damages to cover medical expenses, property damage and lost income.

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