State police said a Connecticut man who died en route to the Dave Matthews Band concert at SPAC this spring was driving drunk when he decided to pull a U-turn on Route 9, causing the crash that killed him.
Gerard H. Spadory, 51, of North Haven, was killed instantly after turning his four-door Acura into the path of Dodge pickup truck operated by Stephen Hammond, 24, of Malta. Blood tests later showed the married father of two had a blood alcohol content above the 0.08 percent threshold for intoxication, according to state police.
“There were several contributing factors to the accident — alcohol was certainly one of them,” Trooper Mark Cepiel said Thursday. “The decedent is who caused the accident.”
Spadory and three passengers were headed to the concert around 7 p.m. May 31 when he accidentally got off the Northway at Exit 13S. Spadory pulled over to the southbound shoulder of Route 9 about 100 yards from the interchange and then attempted to pull across both lanes of oncoming traffic to head north.
“He took the wrong exit and attempted to make a U-turn on a four-lane highway,” Cepiel said.
Spadory veered into the path of Hammond’s truck, which was traveling in the left lane heading south on Route 9. Investigators said Hammond did everything possible to avoid hitting Spadory, but still collided with the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Cepiel didn’t specify Spadory’s BAC, but said he was above the legal threshold for a driving while intoxicated charge. He said there is no indication speed played a factor in the crash and that Hammond was not found to be at fault.
Spadory was pronounced dead at the scene. His three passengers were taken to Saratoga Hospital with what authorities described at the time as minor injuries.
Spadory worked as a sales process planner for Hitachi Aloka Medical America Inc., according to his obituary. He was survived by his wife, a daughter and a son.