Drunk driver who struck woman in Clifton Park gets state prison

Photographer: ShutterstockPhotographer: Shutterstock

By Kassie Parisi

Gazette Reporter

CLIFTON PARK — A Schenectady man who pleaded guilty to driving drunk in June when he struck an elderly woman will serve one to three years in state prison.

Christopher Jones, 58, pleaded guilty in February to felony vehicular assault  in Saratoga County Court.

He was arrested on June 3 after he hit Stephanie Van Auken, 74, of Clifton Park, with his car.

According to police reports, at about 6 p.m., Jones was driving out of the parking lot of the Ravenswood Pub in Clifton Park when he struck Van Auken and another man, who were attempting to stop him from driving while intoxicated, according to a news release from the Saratoga County District Attorney’s office.

Jones drove away on Route 146 and returned to his home in Schenectady without reporting the accident to police.

A short time later, police located Jones’ gray Subaru at his home and arrested him.

According to police reports, while Jones refused to submit to alcohol or drug tests, he had glassy eyes and impaired speech when he was arrested.

Van Auken suffered two fractured hips, a fractured ankle, a fractured foot and torn tendons and ligaments in her right knee as a result of the accident.

In February, Van Auken was on her way to making a full recovery, and support had been pouring in for her since the accident, according to her son, Scott Schreifels.

In court in February, Jones acknowledged that he was drunk at the time of the collision, and subsequently was directed to relinquish his license.

He was sentenced by Judge James A. Murphy III on April 16.