ALTAMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A man who caused a deadly crash on the Northway (I-87) in 2012 could soon be walking free.
Dennis Drue was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and was texting when he hit a car with four local students inside, killing Deanna Rivers and Christopher Stewart.
This is the car Deanna Rivers and Christopher Stewart were in when Dennis Drue hit and killed them.
A reminder of the devastation their families still feel; now their parents are asking for help to keep Drue behind bars.
Dennis Drue is up for parole this year, after serving just the minimum of five years for a Northway crash that killed Shen students Deanna Rivers and Christopher Stewart.
Deanna’s parents Debbie and Brian Rivers and Christopher’s mother Regina Stewart are taking a stand.
“We knew that when it came time for us to go and speak with the parole board we were going to need some ammunition,” Stewart said.
“The support is unbelievable. I think the biggest thing is the community is enough is enough,” Brian Rivers said.
They’ve started this online petition to bring to the parole board urging them to keep Drue locked up. It’s already garnered thousands of signatures.
“The path that he led up until the accident and the path that he’ll lead if he is released will not change,” Debbie Rivers said.
The Rivers’ say their youngest daughter has just stated to drive and the idea of Drue on the road with her terrifies them.
“The thought of him being out on the road with her is sickening to a father. I shouldn’t have to feel that way. Any parent shouldn’t have to feel that way,” Brian Rivers said.
The families say Drue has never once showed remorse.
“I think he should stay in jail forever, if somebody asked me,” Stewart said.
Saying no one should have to go through what they have.
“Under the influence of alcohol and driving a car is the same a loading a bullet in a gun and shooting somebody point blank,” Brian Rivers said.
“It changes you as a family. It changes your whole world,” Debbie Rivers said.
But they’re ready to face the parole board and show them what the community has to say.
“We’re going to print that out and it’s going to be a lot of pages,” Stewart said.
The community has continuously rallied around both the Rivers and Stewart families.
The petition was started on Monday night and the number of signatures continues to grow by the minute.