Hudson Valley Man Sentenced Following Fatal Drunken Crash
A Hudson Valley man is heading to jail after he admitted that he was drunk and high when he crashed his car and killed his 22-year-old friend.
On Thursday in Ulster County Court, 22-year-old John A. Playford of Saugerties was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. In early November, Playford pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
On Jan. 31 around 3:25 a.m., Playford lost control of his 2003 Jeep Cherokee while traveling south on Route 32 in Saugerties. Playford left the road and hit a pole.
The vehicle continued several hundred feet, crashing through a snow bank which caused the vehicle to go airborne. The Jeep then hit the concrete steps of a home and crashed through a bedroom where two young children were sleeping.
After hitting the home, the Jeep overturned several times.
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.
Playford admitted that he drove over two times the legal limit of intoxication and had marijuana in his system.
During the court sentencing, Peggy Sweeney, the mother of Jacob Sweeney, expressed her love for Playford, who was a close friend of Jacob, and acknowledged that Playford did not mean to kill Jacob, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.
Peggy asked Playford to write to her family if he needed support while in prison but also agreed that Playford deserved to be punished for his actions.
“The courage and compassion shown by Peggy Sweeney is simply incredible,” Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright said in a press release. “For all of the heartache that her family suffered as a result of this crime and to speak those powerful and emotional words to the man who killed her son is a testament to her character. We hope that that citizens of Ulster County will continue to hear the message that drinking and driving can be a deadly combination.”
Playford wasn’t seriously injured in the crash.
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