November 3, 2017




Saugerties man pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter


KINGSTON – A Saugerties man pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter and reckless endangerment in Ulster County Court on Thursday.

The charges stem from a one-vehicle crash on Route 32 near the Saxton Fire Department on January 31.

During the plea, John Playford, 22, admitted to having a blood alcohol content of .18 percent or higher when he was driving and caused the death of Jacob Sweeney, 22, of Saugerties, who was riding with him.         

Police said Playford drove an SUV at a high rate of speed going south on Route 32 when he lost control and struck a telephone pole, severing it. The vehicle continued several hundred feet, crashing through a snow bank which caused it to go airborne. It then struck the concrete steps of a residence, then crashed through a bedroom of the home where two young children were sleeping.

After the Jeep hit the home, it overturned several times ejecting the front seat passenger, a close friend of Playford who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Playford, who was also under the influence of marijuana, was not seriously injured.         

When sentenced later this month, he faces four to 12 years in state prison.


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