CLIFTON PARK - A Cohoes man was drunk when he drove across Route 9 Saturday afternoon, striking another vehicle, killing two and injuring three others, state police said Sunday.
The driver of the vehicle that crossed Route 9, identified as Dickie Winn, 58, of Cohoes, has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as driving while intoxicated, state police said.
Winn was arraigned Sunday morning in Clifton Park Town Court. While his attorney identified him as a veteran and asked for bail, the judge ordered Winn held.
State police identified the two killed in the crash as John Heneghan, 33, and Caitlyn J. Holtzman, 32, both of New York City.
Those seriously injured were identified as Julia Staples, 24, Luke O'Doherty, 25, and Enda Crowley, 25. State police described their injuries as serious, but not life-threatening. They were taken to Albany Medical Center for treatment. Their cities of residence were not included in a state police statement released Sunday.
Heneghan, who was originally from Ireland, was living in New York City, according to the Irish Mirror newspaper. The paper also cited a relative of Holtzman who indicated Holtzman and Heneghan were married in 2017.
The crash happened shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of U.S. Route 9 and Ushers Road in Clifton Park. Winn was traveling south on U.S. Route 9 when he left his lane and struck another vehicle stopped for the light, headed east on Ushers Road at the Route 9 intersection.
Winn was arraigned in court Sunday morning and appeared visibly emotional. Town Judge James Hughes ordered Winn held without bail.
The judge's order came after Saratoga County Public Defender Oscar Schreiber asked that bail be set. In doing so, he said his client has family in the area, his wife and daughter were in the court room, and said Winn is an Army veteran.
"He joined the army in 1984 at 20 years old. He's been deployed seven times. The Gulf War, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guatamala and El Salvador," Schreiber told the court. "He has a Bronze Star for valor. He came here directly from Fort Drum to Cohoes. He's been in service to our country for years and years and years, he's put his life on the line. I don't think he's going anywhere. He realizes how serious this is."
"There may be some defenses at this point, there might not. I haven't gotten all the material yet," Schreiber added, noting that he had yet to receive results of a blood test conducted on Winn.
While the judge acknowledged Winn's service record, he was not swayed.
"There are two dead people," Hughes said.
The judge did allow Winn time during his arraignment to say goodbye to his family prior to leaving court.
Aggravated vehicular homicide, which takes into consideration drunk driving crashes that result in more than one death, carries a potential sentence of up to 25 years in state prison upon conviction.
Winn is due back in court on May 29 at 4 p.m.
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