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DWI, vehicular homicide charges in 2 Bard students' deaths

Two students from Bard College in New York were killed and a third was injured in a Jan. 31 accident that police said was a hit-and-run involving a drunk driver. A Felony DWI charge was lodged against the 63-year-old woman allegedly behind the wheel in the incident. Sheriff's department deputies arrived at the scene near midnight, and their preliminary investigation found that the three students were hit by a vehicle going southbound on Route 9G. With this information, police said, they were able to locate what they believed were the vehicle and driver involved shortly thereafter.

The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody on a DWI charge that was a class E felony because the woman reportedly had a previous conviction. She was also charged with first-degree vehicular manslaughter, a class C felony. She was jailed on $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash bail. The mayor of Tivoli, where the accident occurred, tried to comfort the students' families as well as the Bard College community.

The mayor said that the senseless tragedy had an impact on everyone in the community near Bard, which is located in Annandale-on-Hudson. He promised that Tivoli would continue to be a good friend and neighbor to the school and would be there for the college community if ever they were needed. He noted that Tivoli had sent its first responders to the scene of the accident.

An aggravated DWI conviction for a second or greater offense can mean more serious potential penalties including fines and prison time. Multiple drunk driving charges may in themselves spell harsher punishment as might driving drunk with a child in the vehicle.

Source: Hudson Valley Reporter, "Police: Two Bard Students Killed by Drunk Driver While Walking Along Rt. 9G", Bob Dumas, February 01, 2014

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