Driver in fatal Saugerties crash charged with vehicular manslaughter following blood-alcohol test

This afternoon Saugerties Police arrested John A. Playford, 21, of Mower Mill Rd., Saugerties, and charged him with first-degree vehicular manslaughter and two counts second-degree reckless endangerment in connection with a January 31 crash that killed passenger Jacob Sweeney, 22, also of Saugerties.

Police said forensic testing established that Playford was operating his vehicle with a blood-alcohol content twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Playford was arraigned in the Town of Saugerties Court and remanded to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.    


It was a single-vehicle crash. Shortly after 3 a.m., Playford was driving a 2003 Jeep Cherokee south on Rt. 32 when he failed to stay on the road, running off the west side of the roadway, striking a utility pole, then a house, causing extensive damage. The vehicle crossed a driveway and flipped over, coming to rest on its roof.  Sweeney was ejected from the vehicle, sustaining fatal injuries. Playford was treated for minor injuries.