Saugerties man sentenced in vehicular manslaughter case


KINGSTON – A Saugerties
man was sentenced in Ulster County Court in Kingston on Thursday to four
to 12 years in state prison after his guilty plea to vehicular manslaughter
and reckless endangerment.

John Playford, 22, admitted that he caused the death of Jacob Sweeney,
22, after driving off the road on Route 32 in Saugerties after drinking
beer and smoking marijuana.

At about 3:22 a.m. on January 31, 2017 Playford was driving a Jeep Grand
Cherokee when he ran off the road and snapped a utility pole in half before
hitting a snow bank, a small tree, a house, and overturned several times
ejecting Sweeney.

The vehicle ended up overturned behind a rock wall some 350 feet from
the point at which it left the road.

Playford was arrested on March 2 and indicted by an Ulster County grand
jury. Blood tests revealed that Playford’s blood alcohol content
was .18, more than twice the legal limit, and his blood contained active
marijuana metabolites indicative of recent usage.