ESSEX - A Willsboro man is facing criminal charges after a single-car accident killed his passenger and left him seriously injured.
Ryan R. Bruno, 25, Willsboro, was arraigned in Essex Town Court March 4, and pleaded not guilty to charges of second degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor.
According to state police, Bruno was driving southbound on Route 22 during the early morning hours, Jan. 1, when he lost control of his 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse and crossed the east shoulder of the roadway, colliding with a tree.
The crash resulted in the death of his front-seat passenger, Keshia B. Pierce, 23, also of Willsboro. Bruno was treated at CVPH and Fletcher Allen Health Care where he was listed in critical but stable condition.
Blood alcohol tests administered just hours after the accident revealed Bruno to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.11 percent, police said, well over the legal limit of 0.08 for DWI.
The state police Collision Reconstruction Units conducted an intensive investigation of the scene and the vehicle, and determined Bruno was driving too fast for the slushy and wet conditions of the road that morning. He is also being charged with failure to keep right and speed not reasonable and prudent.
Essex Town Justice Mark Kupperman committed Bruno to the Essex County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to reappear in the Essex Town Court at 4 p.m. March 16.