Woman charged in fatal accident

JOHNSTOWN – A Broadalbin motorist who authorities said was driving while intoxicated was indicted Monday on six charges, including felony vehicular manslaughter, in connection with a fatal accident last fall in the town of Mayfield.

Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira issued a news release saying a county grand jury indicted Mellissia S. Vincent, 39, of 30 N. Main St., Broadalbin.

Vincent was indicted on charges of: felony second-degree manslaughter, felony second-degree vehicular manslaughter, misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, misdemeanor driving with 0.08 percent or higher blood- alcohol content, misdemeanor driving while ability impaired by combined influence of drugs or alcohol, and misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

The news release said the indictment stems from a one-car crash about 2 a.m. Oct. 27 on County Highway 155 in the town of Mayfield. The crash resulted in the death of passenger Justin DePaula, 34, of Broadalbin.

Sira said Vincent and DePaula were acquaintances.

“They were coming from the Broadalbin Hotel,” Sira said. “They were drinking at an event.”

A state police news release indicated the victim succumbed to his injuries after being ejected from the vehicle.

The original account of the crash by state police said Vincent’s car crashed into a utility pole. Troopers said the vehicle was traveling west on County Highway 155, near Route 30, when Vincent failed to make a turn at a curve. The vehicle crashed into the pole before landing on its side on a lawn adjacent to the road.

State police said DePaula and Vincent were ejected. DePaula was declared dead at the scene, and Vincent was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital.

“The tragic events of Oct. 27, 2013, have greatly impacted the family and friends of Justin DePaula, whose life was unnecessarily cut short,” Sira’s news release said.

“The district attorney’s office and the state police have worked and will continue working diligently on this case is order to provide some sense of comfort and closure to the family and friends of Justin DePaula,” the news release said.

Sira said Michael DePaula – father of the victim – stated the family wants to see “justice done” in this case.

He couldn’t be reached at his Boadalbin home this morning for comment.

Vincent was arraigned Monday before Fulton County Court Judge Richard C. Giardino, who suspended her driver’s license. The defendant posted $75,000 cash-insurance bond in court.

Assistant District Attorney Chad Brown is prosecuting the case.

Albany attorney Eric Sills, who represents Vincent, had no comment this morning.

Sira said that if convicted, Vincent could face a maximum of 15 years in state prison.

She is scheduled to reappear in County Court at 1:30 p.m. May 2.

Michael Anich can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.