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Saratoga Springs woman charged in July Malta crash that killed fiancé, injured others

Saratoga Springs woman charged in July Malta crash that killed fiancé, injured others

Saratoga Springs woman charged in July Malta crash that killed fiancé, injured others
Emergency workers at the scene July 14
Photographer: Erica Miller/Daily Gazette Photographer

MALTA — A Saratoga Springs woman drove with multiple drugs in her system and caused the July crash on Route 9 that killed her passenger and injured others, authorities alleged Thursday.

Kelly A Leonardi, 46, formerly of Niskayuna, appeared in Malta Town Court on Thursday afternoon on multiple charges related to the July 14 incident, including one count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, a felony.

Leonardi is accused of driving in an intoxicated condition at about 3:40 p.m. that day, with fentanyl, morphine and the sedative alprazolam in her system. 

The crash happened on Route 9, south of Malta Avenue in Malta, when Leonardi's car crossed into the southbound lanes and struck a pickup truck head-on, state police have said.

Killed in the crash was her passenger, John E. Stevens, 49, of Saratoga Springs. 

Leonardi was identified in Stevens' obituary as his fiancee.

Leonardi, who was seriously injured and airlifted to Albany Medical Center, is quoted in state police paperwork filed in court as asking a trooper about Stevens.

"Did I kill him?" she allegedly asked the trooper. "Is he dead?"

She also allegedly told the trooper "I don't know" what happened.

Leonardi also allegedly refused a blood chemical test, but troopers sought and received an order for one from Judge James Murphy, according to the state police filing. It was conducted at 9:46 p.m. that evening at Albany Medical Center.

The crash also injured two people in the pickup truck. Its driver, Michael P. DeFile, 45, of Valley Falls, suffered a concussion, while his passenger, Mario V. Gonzalez, 60, of Ballston Spa, suffered a broken foot, according to state police. 

Leonardi faces two counts of misdemeanor assault related to their injuries.

She also is accused of illegally possessing several alprazolam pills outside their original container. Troopers found the pills inside a pocket of a purse owned by Leonardi, state police alleged.

She faces a misdemeanor count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and a violation-level count of having a controlled substance outside its original container related to those allegations.

Leonardi also faces multiple other counts, including violation-level marijuana possession, related to marijuana- or THC-based vape cartridges, and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and driving while ability impaired by drugs, misdemeanors. 

Leonardi was originally identified after the crash as a Niskayuna resident, but is listed in court papers as a Saratoga Springs resident. Among the tickets filed is one for failure to notify of a change of address.

Leonardi was arraigned Thursday afternoon and was released on $45,000 bond, court officials said. An attorney listed for her could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Photos: Images from July's crash scene

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