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Orange County Man Faces Vehicular Manslaughter Charge

Robert Higgins, 24
Robert Higgins, 24 Photo Credit: Orange County District Attorney's Office

A Highland Mills man was charged Monday with DWI and vehicular manslaughter in the death of a man who was a passenger in his car during a crash last year, according to Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler.

Robert Higgins, 24, was charged in connection with a Dec. 22, 2017, crash on Route 32 in the Town of Woodbury, that ended with the death of Higgins’ passenger, Preston Jones, 23, of Fayetteville, N.C.

According to the indictment, Higgins’ blood-alcohol level was .22 percent following the crash, nearly three times the legal limit.

Higgins was also charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, and two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Bail was set in the amount of $5,000. Higgins is next scheduled to appear in court on May 10.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police and the Town of Woodbury Police Department for their investigation.

“Fatalities which occur as the result of driving while intoxicated are as tragic as they are preventable,” said Hoovler. “Too many lives have been irreparably harmed by those who drive while intoxicated. No one wants to have to live with the guilt of knowing that they caused the death of a friend, loved one, or some other innocent person using the roads. If you have been drinking, call a taxicab or make other arrangements to get yourself safely home.”

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