A Putnam County, New York bar owner has been charged with allowing an off-duty bartender to drink and drive, resulting in a head-on crash that killed her and another woman.
Sandra Longchamps, 43, of Southeast, a bar manager at The Paddock restaurant and bar in Patterson, had finished her shift the day of the Super Bowl and then stayed to have drinks, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department said. She then drove about a mile, crossed the median line on Route 22 and plowed into a family minivan, the sheriff said.
A coroner’s report said Longchamps’ blood alcohol level was 0.345, or more than four times the legal limit. The autopsy also showed she had cocaine in her system at the time of the crash.
Kirsten Henry, 34, a mother of three who lived in Dutchess County, was killed in the minivan. Her husband and children, ages 7, 4 and 2, were injured.
The Sheriff’s Department said 41-year-old Ray Knox Jr., who owns The Paddock and lives in New Milford, Conn., was charged with violating the state’s alcoholic beverage law, which can deem a bartender or server liable for injuries or damages caused by an intoxicated or alchohol-impaired patron or guest.
Police said Knox, who was in the bar while Longchamps was there, allowed her to be served while she was visibly intoxicated and allowed her to drink while knowing she “habitually drank too much,” The Journal News reported.
The paper said statements from the police contradicted Knox’s claims in February that Longchamps stopped by only to pick up her lost cell phone and get dinner for her two teenage sons.
Knox was due in Patterson Town Court on May 7. The Sheriff’s Department also was referring the matter to the State Liquor Authority for possible administrative action, the Journal said.
Longchamps and Henry were both pronounced dead at the scene.
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