Prosecutors say a man who shot cell phone video of his speedometer showing 140 mph just before crashing in Saratoga County has been sentenced from 1 ½ to 3 years in prison for injuring his passengers.
Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy says Anton Hawkins, 27, of Schenectady was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in March to second-degree vehicular assault for driving drunk and causing his passenger to be thrown on the Northway.
The sentence also includes a three-year mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for any vehicle he drives after he is released from prison, plus a license revocation, before the Hon. Jerry J. Scarano in Saratoga County Court.
The crash happened in the Town of Halfmoon on November 24, 2012 when Hawkins lost control of the Toyota Camry while headed southbound. The car spun out of control, flipped, rolled over and ended up on its roof in the northbound lanes of I-87. One passenger suffered a serious physical injury and the other passengers were injured, but not seriously, authorities said.
State Police used GPS technology from a cell phone in the car along with witness accounts. The defendant's reckless driving prior to the crash was also recorded and on a cell phone in the vehicle. The footage depicts the speedometer of the Camry maxed out just seconds prior to the crash. State Police were able to pinpoint the time and location of the video based upon the GPS coordinates from the phone.
“As a DWI prosecutor, I rarely see the crime as it's actually being committed, but in this case, based on the passenger's cell phone footage taken in the car, I could see the defendant driving at an extremely reckless speed, maxing out the speedometer while intoxicated,” said ADA Patrick Campion.
DA Murphy: “The cell video of the car careening down the Northway going 130 mph with music blasting on the stereo is chilling. It's beyond frightening to think that this defendant was actually driving and a miracle that he didn't kill someone. I'm glad the judge removed him from our roadways for the safety of our community. The ignition interlock device will help to stop him from driving drunk in the future. Let's hope he gets the message."