Dennis Drue faces 5 to 15 years behind bars after guilty plea

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Updated: 9/27/2013 11:15 pm

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -Dennis Drue pleaded guilty in Saratoga County Court on Friday to 58 counts for causing the Northway crash that killed two Shen seniors.

Drue, 23, was previously indicted on 59 criminal charges, including 52 felonies, including Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Manslaughter.

He pleaded guilty to all 58 counts as family members of the victims stood in court behind him.

Drue is expected to receive 5 to 15 years in prison when sentenced in December. He is also expected to be ordered to use an ignition interlock device in his car for three years post release. He is also waiving his right to appeal as part of the plea.

In court on Friday, he to causing the December 2012 car crash on the Northway that killed Deanna Rivers and Chris Stewart, both 17-years old, and seriously injured Matthew Hardy and Bailey Wind.

The judge asked Drue if he caused the life of two Shen students, to which he replied "yes."  Drue also admitted to the judge he was high on marijuana and speeding at the time of the crash.

Last week, an appeals court denied a motion filed by Drue's attorney to change the venue for the trial.

District Attorney Jim Murphy says Drue's blood alcohol content was over the legal limit at the time of the crash and that he was impaired by drugs. Prosecutors also say marijuana and drug paraphilia were both found in Drue's car.

Earlier this month, the judge decided to allow Drue's statements he made after a fatal crash to be used in court. Drue told officers on scene the night of December 1, 2012 that he hit black ice and lost control of his vehicle. When a trooper engaged him in conversation Drue said, "Oh, I love my car, my poor car."

He told police he had one drink with dinner the night of the crash and blew a BAC of .08 percent. He repeatedly said he hit black ice and lost control, and the other car involved in the crash must have hit the same ice. He was taken to the hospital for minor injuries after the crash, where he said he would speak voluntarily and take a blood test after being read his rights.

Drue was arrested on January 4, 2013 at his Halfmoon home. While he was being transported, court documents state Drue spontaneously said, "This is bullsh**. Those kids slammed on their brakes. This is just an accident, nothing more. You just need somebody to parade around for their deaths." He also continued to insist there were no drugs in his system.

NEWS10 ABC has also learned that Drue has a significant driving record which includes five suspensions, 22 traffic tickets including more than a dozen speeding tickets, and four previous accidents. However, his license was not suspended at the time of the crash.

The Shen students were leaving a sports game when a Volvo driven by Drue hit Stewart's Ford Explorer. Both Christopher Stewart and Deanna Rivers were pronounced dead at the scene. Bailey Wind, a Shaker High School student, and Matthew Hardy have since recuperated from the accident after a long road of recovery.

The community rallied around the victims of this crash. Students say Bailey Wind and Chris Stewart were a couple, and Matt and Deanna were also a couple.

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