Families of 2012 Northway crash victim pushes for tougher parole laws

The father of Chris Stewart, a teenager killed almost 10 years ago by a drunk driver, is pushing for the parole process to be changed. His son’s killer, Dennis Drue, is up for parole in the coming weeks.

Back in 2012, Drue was driving recklessly under the influence of drugs and alcohol, when he slammed into the back of an SUV with four teens. Two teens were hurt, and two teens, Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers, died.

Drue was convicted and sentenced to five to 15 years behind bars. As of now, he has served about eight years.

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Family members want him to serve as long as possible. They gathered the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday morning along with Sen. Jim Tedisco.

They have already provided victim impact statements to the parole board. However, they feel it was impersonal because it was done over the phone and there was a transcript taken. They want to be able to share their emotions in a video recording.

Tedisco has introduced a bill called “Christopher & Deanna’s Law” that would allow that to happen.

Tedisco has also introduced a bill that would require parole hearings to be spread out so they occur every five years instead of every year. That would give the victims’ families more time to prepare for them.

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Hear from the Rivers and Stewart families, and from Tedisco about why they all say these bills need to be put through right now, by watching the video of Dan Levy’s story.