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Police: Surveillance footage key to Rotterdam hit-and-run arrest

Police: Surveillance footage key to Rotterdam hit-and-run arrest

GoFundMe effort exceeds goal to pay for victim's funeral
Police: Surveillance footage key to Rotterdam hit-and-run arrest
Megan M. Alexandre
Photographer: Provided; Shutterstock

ROTTERDAM — Business surveillance camera images proved the key to arresting a driver who struck a man on Hamburg Street on Friday night and then left him to die, police said.

The video captured images of the crash just after 11 p.m. and provided enough detail for investigators to identify the vehicle that hit and killed 46-year-old Dramone Houston as a Jeep Liberty, Rotterdam police Lt. William Male said Monday.

"We got a list of all the Jeep Liberties in the immediate area, and we started systematically checking each one," Male said.

Dramone Houston, 46, was killed in the hit-and-run. (Via GoFundMe)

Soon, they found a Jeep Liberty owned by 30-year-old Megan M. Alexandre, of Curry Road, Rotterdam.

Investigators found the SUV parked in the driveway of Alexandre's home, with a large dent in the hood and damage to its headlights, Male said. She lives about a mile from the crash scene, he said.

Police charged Alexandre on Sunday with one count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. If convicted, she faces up to 2.3 to 7 years in state prison.

Male said police could only speculate as to why she fled the crash scene. He noted they were not able to speak with her until nearly two days later.

"She didn't give a reason as to any of that," Male said, "and we don't have any evidence that she was intoxicated."

Houston's body wasn't discovered until shortly after 2 a.m., when a passing motorist spotted him lying off the road and called police.

Houston's wife later told police he had worked the late shift at the Glenville Walmart on Friday and the last bus dropped him off on Altamont Avenue. His path home took him down Hamburg Street, Male said.

The surveillance video appeared to show Houston walking on the shoulder of the road, though with his back to traffic.

"It doesn't show her slowing down or stopping or anything," Male said of the video. "She quickly goes out of frame, but the video we have, it doesn't show any stopping or slowing."

The medical examiner determined Houston died upon impact, Male said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses and had exceeded its $5,000 goal as of Monday afternoon, topping $6,000.

"I just want to thank each and every person who donated to Dramone's memorial," organizer Eve Suitt wrote. "We've reached our goal! God bless all of you from my family to yours."

The crash happened less than two years after — and less than a mile away from — another hit-and-run fatal accident on Hamburg Street. Police used car parts left at the scene of the 2016 crash to find the driver who had gone to New York City attempting to repair the damage. A judge later sentenced the driver to 2 to 6 years in state prison.

No car parts were left at the scene of Friday night's crash, Male said, and police found no attempt to repair the vehicle.

Alexandre was arraigned Sunday night and was released after she posted a $20,000 bond, officials said.

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