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Grand Jury Indicts Hudson Valley Man for Fatal Drunk Driving Accident

Ivan Bliznetsov

A Hudson Valley man is accused of driving very drunk when he crashed his car, killing his 22-year-old friend.


On Tuesday, an Ulster County grand jury handed up an indictment charging 21-year-old John A. Playford of Saugerties with vehicular manslaughter.

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On January 31 around 3:25 a.m., 21-year-old Playford lost control of his 2003 Jeep Cherokee while traveling south on Route 32 in Saugerties. Playford left the road, hit a pole and then a house.

The vehicle then continued to cross a driveway and came to a rest on its roof.

A passenger in Playford’s vehicle, 22-year-old Jacob Sweeny of Saugerties, was ejected from the vehicle.  He died as a result of his injuries.

It’s alleged that Playford was driving at a very high speed while drunk.

Following an investigation and the results of forensic testing, Playford was found to be driving more than two times over the legal limit of intoxication at the time of the crash, police say.

Playford will be scheduled for arraignment in Ulster County Court at a later date.

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