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Alleged drunk driver in fatal Amsterdam crash appears in court

Alleged drunk driver in fatal Amsterdam crash appears in court

Alleged drunk driver in fatal Amsterdam crash appears in court
Ronald E. Carpenter is led into court Tuesday. Inset: Christina Rossi

AMSTERDAM -- The man accused of driving drunk and causing the death of a newspaper carrier early Saturday morning appeared in court Tuesday.

Ronald E. Carpenter, 42, of Amsterdam, made the appearance with his attorney Ted Hartman. Hartman gave up the right to an immediate felony hearing in the case, indicating he wished to discuss the case further with prosecutors prior to any grand jury action.

Carpenter is due back in court later this month, though grand jury action or other factors could put off that date.

Carpenter faces one count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, a felony, as well as misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. He remains in custody, held on $25,000 bail.

He is accused of striking and killing newspaper carrier and Amsterdam resident Christina Rossi, 64, on Brookside Avenue in Amsterdam at about 1:10 a.m. Saturday as Rossi delivered newspapers.

Carpenter's blood alcohol content tested at 0.17, more than twice the legal limit to drive of 0.08, according to police.

Rossi delivered newspapers for both the Amsterdam Recorder and The Daily Gazette. She did so with her husband, Gene, and they often split more than 700 deliveries. He was on another street when the crash happened.

Gene Rossi has remembered his wife as a loving mother of her two adult sons and a loving wife. She was a born again Christian and was active in their church, the Calvary Assembly of God on Main Street in Amsterdam. She was also a two-time cancer survivor.

She and her husband had been married for more than 19 years. 

Services for Rossi are scheduled for Friday morning at the Amsterdam Calvary Assembly of God. Viewing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., with a Service of Remembrance scheduled to follow at 11:30.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Rossi's name can be made to the Calvary Assembly of God Church.

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