Questions arise about death of pedestrian in Northway accident - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Questions arise about death of pedestrian in Northway accident

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Dawn Marie Wright Dawn Marie Wright

By Emma Yepsen

ALBANY, N.Y. – More information is being released about what happened to the victim of the fatal pedestrian/auto accident in the hours leading up to her death early Wednesday morning.

Colonie police tell NEWS10 the victim, 40-year-old Dawn Marie Wright, of Clifton Park, had just been released from the police station after being arrested around 3:00 a.m. for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Police say Wright was arrested after her car was found stopped on the shoulder of Loudon Road and officers saw a marijuana pipe in clear view. Wright was asked to do a number of sobriety tests in which she failed and was taken in to the Colonie Police Department, located at 312 Wolf Road.

Wright was released around 5:30 a.m. to a person police were told was her fiancé's father, with an appearance ticket for Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in court.

However, she was struck by a 1997 GMC pick up truck driven by 33-year-old Chad Finning about a half hour later, around 6:00 a.m., while walking on top of the northbound ramp exit 4 off of the Northway I-87.

Police say Finning was entering I-87 via the northbound ramp and struck Wright, who police say was wearing dark clothing.

Witnesses say they saw a woman in the vicinity of the ramp that morning attempting to hitch hike.

State Police in Loudonville arrived on the scene where they pronounced the Wright dead. The ramp was closed off from the hours of 6:30am until approximately 9:00am while police were on scene, causing major delays on the Northway.

According to police, the roadway was wet from overnight rain at the time of the incident and darkness was still in effect.

Finning immediately stopped, and at this time it is not expected that charges will be filed against him.

An autopsy that was performed Wednesday at Albany Medical Center revealed that Wright's cause of death was due to cardio/pulmonary arrest due to massive head trauma.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Anyone who may have seen a pedestrian in that area or witnessed the collision is asked to call the State Police at Loudonville at 783-3211.

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