NEWS10 ABC Exclusive: After the sentencing - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

NEWS10 ABC Exclusive: After the sentencing


CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. - One day after the man who caused a fatal Northway crash was sentenced to State Prison, the affected families spoke with NEWS10 ABC.

Still angry but ready to move on with their lives, that is how the victims and families connected to last December's Northway crash are feeling.

On Thursday, Dennis Drue, 23, was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in State Prison. The sentence was handed down three months after Drue pleaded guilty to 58 counts against him.

Drue admitted to causing that December 2012 car crash, which killed Deanna Rivers and Chris Stewart, both 17-year-old Shenendehowa High School seniors. The wreck also injured Bailey Wind, a Shaker High School senior at the time, and Matt Hardy, a Shen junior at the time of the crash.

During Drue's sentencing Bailey, Matthew, and the families of Chris and Deanna gave victim impact statements, expressing how they have felt since the night of the crash.

Patricia Hardy, Matt's mother said, "I get a sense it's a new chapter, maybe a new beginning for us. The energy, even among us here, has changed somewhat."

Following the victim impact statements, Drue stood before the court and apologized to the families.

"I never meant to hurt anybody," he said. "I take full responsibility. I'm so sorry, I really am."

However, forgiveness will not come easy for these families and they say they have mixed feelings over whether Drue was sincere when he told them in court he was sorry.

"I felt a send of relief and when I looked at him there was true sorrow there," said Regina Stewart, Chris' mother.

Bailey was in a relationship with Chris at the time of the crash and she said she feels otherwise.

"I do not believe what he said because everything I said to him he either gave me a dirty look, rolled his eyes, wouldn't look at me and it was not remorseful. He did it for him, for him to look good, he's not sorry for what he did," said Bailey. 

The families are moving forward and hope that they can honor Christ and Deanna's memory. They also want to ensure that a tragedy similar to the one they have experienced does not happen again.

While the two teens who survived the crash are slowly recovering, they struggle with the fact that they survived and their friends did not.

"I think we both have a lot of survivor's guilt because they were both amazing kids and they had bright futures," continued Bailey. "All we can do is live every day for both of them because they can't be here and I hope I'm making them proud."

Matt, who was in a relationship with Deanna, agreed, "I just hope that I can do something special in honor of Chris and Deanna and make them proud."

In November, a lawyer for Bailey and Matt confirmed they are asking for $1 million and punitive damages

Bailey is currently attending college in Tennessee while Matt plans to graduate this spring and attend college in Massachusetts.



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