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Alleged driver in Fulton County hit-and-run had prior DWI arrest

Alleged driver in Fulton County hit-and-run had prior DWI arrest

The suspected driver in hit-run was charged with DWI in April
Alleged driver in Fulton County hit-and-run had prior DWI arrest
Photographer: Gazette file photo

NORTHAMPTON -- The man state police suspect of a fatal hit-and-run accident off Route 30 early Sunday, which killed a longtime disability rights advocate, was arrested in April for allegedly driving while intoxicated within miles of where the fatal crash occurred.  

State police on Monday identified the man as Derrick H. Carlisle, 44, of Northville. He was arrested after a traffic stop Sunday night in Point Township, Pa., nearly 300 miles south of the the crash scene.

Police also identified the woman killed as 46-year-old Andria M. Berger, of Broadalbin, an advocate for people with disabilities throughout her career. Berger worked in Amsterdam for the Resource Center for Independent Living, an organization with offices across upstate New York that provides resources to people with disabilities.

"We are sad to learn of the passing of Andria Berger, a dedicated employee of [Resource Center for Independent Living]," the organization's CEO Zvia McCormick said in a released statement Monday. "As a disability rights advocate, Andria worked passionately to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities."

Berger had previously worked for over 20 years at the state Office for People With Development Disabilities as a support assistant and before that as a mental health therapy assistant. In August, Berger submitted a letter to the editor at The Daily Gazette urging people to think about the importance of accessible homes and public places for people with disabilities. She urged readers to advocate for more accessible spaces -- both in public and private.

"If you are the friend or family member of a person with a disability, or a physical or sensory impairment, you too are limited if you cannot access a public place together," Berger wrote in the letter. "Community members can support equal access by speaking to local business owners and representatives about the importance of accessibility."

A passerby found Berger’s body just after 7 a.m. Sunday off Route 30 in Northampton, state police said. An autopsy on Monday found the cause of death to be multiple blunt force trauma. 

Investigators on the scene determined that Berger had been struck by a red pickup truck and asked the public to help locate the truck, which was damaged.

Carlisle was taken into custody in Point Township at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday at a traffic stop. Carlisle was driving a red 2015 Chevrolet Silverado that had damage consistent with the crash, state police said.

Police in Point Township arrested Carlisle on charges of receiving stolen property and firearms not to be carried without a license, felonies.

On April 19, within miles of the site of the fatal crash, Carlisle was charged with driving while intoxicated, according to police. He was pulled over for a traffic violation on Route 30 in Mayfield, police said. His blood alcohol level measured 0.13; the legal limit is .08. A message to the Mayfield town clerk on the status of the case was not returned.

The investigation is continuing, police said.

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