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What you need to know for 01/23/2017

Defense will review medical records of Northway crash survivors

Defense will review medical records of Northway crash survivors

Medical records for two teens who were injured in a car crash that killed two of their friends will

Medical records for two teens who were injured in a car crash that killed two of their friends will be released to the defense attorney for Dennis Drue, who hit the vehicle in which they were riding.

Saratoga County Judge Jerry Scarano this afternoon ordered the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office to release records Matthew Hardy and Bailey Wind’s medical treatment after the Dec. 1 crash on the Northway near Exit 8. The District Attorney’s Office contends that Hardy and Wind suffered serious injuries in the crash, and the charges against Drue, 22, are based on that.

Drue, of Halfmoon, was indicted last month on 59 counts relating to the crash, the most serious of which is felony aggravated vehicular homicide, for the two Shenendehowa High School students who were killed, Deanna Rivers and Chris Stewart. Prosecutors contend Drue had enough alcohol and marijuana in his system to be impaired at the time of the accident.

Drue remains in Saratoga County Jail without bail and did not appear in court this afternoon. His attorney, Stephen Coffey, declined to comment on why getting the medical records is important to his case.

Getting a court order to release medical records is not unusual, said Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III.

“I was expecting it,” he said.

Because of privacy rules, a court order is the only way that the prosecution can turn over the medical records, Murphy said. The DA’s office had subpoenaed the records for the grand jury to view.

After not much discussion, Scarano ordered the records released. “It would seem to me that these would be relevant to the defense,” he said.

Murphy said the case is “pretty far along” in the discovery process that happens as a preparation for trial.

He thinks the defense may ask for the opportunity to independently test samples of Drue’s blood that were taken at the crime scene to compare them to state police crime lab results.

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