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Dennis Drue Sentencing

BALLSTON SPA -- Dennis Drue will be sentenced Thursday afternoon after he pleaded guilty to 58 charges related to a December 2012 accident that killed two high school students on the Northway and left two others injured. He is expected to be sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison.

Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy tweeted Wednesday night four people will make victim impact statements before the sentencing, one from each of the families. Drue will also get a chance to speak.

Drue, 23, admitted he was texting, speeding and under the influence of marijuana and alcohol when he crashed into the car. Shenendehowa High School students Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers were killed in the accident. Shen junior Matt Hardy and Shaker High School student Baily Wind were seriously injured.

"There is closure to it for sure because it seems the natural process to complete what's happened," said Regina Stewart, Chris mother. "We're pretty tired and to see the process complete, there will be some release after that and we would like to move on."

Wind is expected to be one of the people to make an impact statement during sentencing. She recently completed her first semester at the University of Tennessee and said she is working on healing.

"I definitely don't want this accident to define who I am so I think getting away, going to school somewhere else where people don't know me I love. I love going out and people not knowing my story. I like being able to be treated like a normal person," said Wind.

Drue pleaded guilty to all 58 charges against him in September pre-trial hearing. The judge agreed to accept the plea in exchange for a sentence of 5 to 15 years, despite Murphy rescinding a similar offer in August.

The victims and their families are expected to be in the courtroom Thursday and are planning to be at future hearings for Drue once incarcerated.

"Unfortunately we're always going to have to think about him [Drue]," said Dawn Wind, Bailys mother. "He's going to be in our life because every time he comes up for parole we have to be there and fight to keep him in prison so that's the real unfortunate thing. Until the day we die we're going to be affected by him."

 
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