Driver in ’15 crash that killed 4 faces drug charge
The driver in a 2015 Saugerties car crash in which four men died has been charged with heroin possession in a weekend incident, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
Meredith S. McSpirit, 20, of Rosendale, was charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and with having a cracked windshield, a traffic violation, said Sheriff’s Capt. Vincent Altieri.
About 3:15 p.m. Sunday, deputies stopped McSpirit’s vehicle on Broadway (U.S. Route 9W) in Esopus for the equipment violation and noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office said. An investigation found a small quantity of heroin residue in a 3-inchlong plastic straw in the vehicle, Altieri said.
There were no passengers in McSpirit’s vehicle at the time and she was not under the influence of either drug, Altieri said. He said McSpirit told deputies the smell of marijuana was present because a previous passenger in the vehicle had been smoking it.
McSpirit was released with a ticket to appear in Esopus Town Court.
On Aug. 26, 2015, McSpirit was the only survivor of a crash,in which the vehicle she was driving went down a 110-foot embankment, hit a house and landed on its roof on Dock Street in the village of Saugerties. She suffered a fractured spine in the crash.
An investigation that ended in March found McSpirit might have hit the gas instead of the brake before losing control of the car, which belonged to one of the men who died in the crash.
In the course of the investigation, McSpirit told Saugerties police investigators she smoked marijuana regularly and had smoked marijuana and K2, a synthetic marijuana, the night before the accident. Police found marijuana in her bag after the crash, and she had traces of the active ingredient in marijuana in her system about 90 minutes later, according to toxicology reports.
In February, an Ulster County grand jury cleared her of criminal wrongdoing in the crash.