Authorities had some convincing evidence to build a case against a Schenectady man who was driving drunk on the Northway in November: a cellphone video that his passenger took of his speedometer maxing out at 140 mph just seconds before he crashed.
On Thursday, Anton Hawkins, 26, pleaded guilty in Saratoga County Court to vehicular assault in connection with the Nov. 24 crash, which seriously injured one of his passengers.
Hawkins, of 436 Manhattan St., was driving a Toyota Camry south on the Northway in Halfmoon when he lost control of the car and it flipped, landing on its roof in the northbound lanes, according to the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office.
The passenger, whose name authorities did not release, was thrown from the vehicle and landed on the eastern shoulder of the northbound lanes.
“It was a miracle that the passenger who was ejected survived the horrific crash,” District Attorney James A. Murphy III said in a statement.
Other passengers in the Camry were also hurt, but not seriously, Murphy said.
State police used GPS coordinates to determine where the car was when the cellphone video was taken, and independently verified Hawkins’ speed with GPS technology. Passengers in the car also testified to Hawkins’ speed.
“GPS technology is used more frequently in reconstructing DWI crashes, by using cell towers or cellphones themselves,” Murphy said. “This type of proof serves as an enhancement to eyewitness testimony or physical evidence, but it is a welcome addition to show juries what happened at the time of the crash.”
Hawkins’ sentencing is slated for May 2, when he is expected to get up to a three-year prison term.