Ballston Spa

Indictment accuses Saratoga County man of causing motorcyclist crash, leaving scene


BALLSTON SPA — An alleged drunk driver caused a head-on collision with a motorcyclist and left him lying on the road with serious injuries as he sped from the crash in Northumberland in September, an 11-count indictment in Saratoga County Court on Friday said.

Michael R. Brownell, 51, of Northumberland, ran a stop sign before colliding with the motorcyclist, and then sped away in a Crown Victoria whose damage from the accident reduced it to just three tires on Sept. 24, prosecutors said.

Brownell was charged with aggravated vehicular assault, a Class C felony, which was the top count of the indictment and carries a maximum sentence of five to 15 years, with the possibility for additional consecutive sentences.

Judge James A. Murphy III remanded Brownell to the Saratoga County Jail without bail. Brownell is to appear in court on March 18. Prosecutors notified the court and Brownell that they are ready for trial, according to a statement from Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen.

The hit-and-run crash occurred in the area of Route 32 and Rugg Road.

Investigators said Brownell drove recklessly and was intoxicated. They said he was speeding when he ran the stop sign, lost control of his car, crossed the center line, and struck the motorcyclist, who was ejected and was taken to an Albany hospital for treatment of serious injuries to his torso and lower extremities.

Prosecutors said Brownell nearly struck two other motorcyclists.

Brownell allegedly hid the car behind an abandoned farmhouse several miles from the crash. He was arrested by Saratoga County Sheriff’s deputies in a remote area near Goff Road in Northumberland.

Brownell’s other charges are:

  • Vehicular assault in the first degree, a Class D felony
  • Assault in the second degree, a Class D violent felony
  • Tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony
  • Three counts of reckless endangerment in the second degree, Class A misdemeanors
  • Driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, both misdemeanors
  • Leaving the scene of a crash involving serious physical injury, a Class E felony.

Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.

Categories: News, Saratoga County

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