ALBANY – A Schenectady man was sentenced to up to seven years in state prison in a reckless endangerment case that ended in a multi-vehicle crash and the man’s SUV striking a house, according to officials with the Albany County District Attorney’s office.
Following an earlier trial, Donald Bender, 54, of Schenectady, was convicted of first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony.
On Tuesday, Judge Andra Ackerman Tuesday sentenced him to a total of 2.3 to 7 years in state prison.
The incident happened June 27, 2018, on Central Avenue in Colonie and ended in the multi-vehicle crash, officials said.
The investigation showed Bender was speeding down Central Avenue when he rear-ended a mini-van in a manner described by witnesses as “smashing into” it while “trying to move it out of the way,” prosecutors said.
The mini-van had to veer into the center lane to let Bender pass.
Then, about 50 feet further, Bender approached a Nissan Altima and started blaring his car horn while driving erratically. He then rear-ended the Altima, causing it to roll over on a fire hydrant.
Finally, Bender lost control of his own vehicle, cut through a lawn and crashed into a house at a speed of 57 mph, prosecutors said. The force of the crash sent the vehicle’s entire engine compartment into the home, officials said.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Wetmore prosecuted.