Press-Republican

June 29, 2013

Driver charged in death of jogger

Mooers man faces 3 felonies in connection with May 20 accident

By FELICIA KRIEG Press-Republican
Press-Republican

---- — MOOERS — An 85-year-old man has been charged in the death of a Champlain woman who was killed while jogging with friends.

Ronald R. Trombly, 85, of Mooers was arrested Thursday in connection with the May 20 accident on Perry Mills Road in Champlain that killed 27-year-old Ashley A. Poissant.

Toxicology results from the New York State Police Forensic Investigative Center in Albany indicated that Trombly’s blood-alcohol content was .12 percent at the time of the accident, according to a news release Friday from Chazy-based State Police.

After consultation with Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie, Trombly was charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, all felonies; third-degree assault, a misdemeanor; driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content above .08 percent; and failure to exercise due care when approaching pedestrians.

“Every day is hard,” said Karen Poissant, the mother of Ashley’s husband of more than eight years, Matthew.

RELEASED AFTER COURT

Trombly surrendered himself at the State Police Barracks in Chazy, accompanied by his defense attorney, Stephen Johnston.

He was arraigned before Champlain Town Justice John J. Labonte and released on his own recognizance, as recommended by Wylie. His release came with several conditions: His New York State Driver’s License was suspended, he must report to the Clinton County Probation Pre-Trial Release Program, and he must wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet.

He is due back in Champlain Town Court at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 10.

DIED OF BRAIN INJURY

State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Lt. John Coryea told the Press-Republican that the accident happened at dusk.

It was reported to State Police at 8:46 p.m.

State Police said the accident happened as Trombly was driving a 2009 Buick westward near 58 Perry Mills Road.

Bureau of Criminal Investigation Senior Investigator Tracey Eggleston said in May that Trombly was alone in the vehicle and was driving home at the time of the accident.

Trombly told police he saw four people running in the same direction along the north shoulder of Perry Mills Road and tried to drive around them but was unable to avoid hitting Poissant, police told the Press-Republican in May.

Eggleston said it appeared the four runners were running side by side, with Poissant “on or near the fog line.”

She was taken to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh in critical condition and died the next day at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Elizabeth Boondock conducted an autopsy on May 21 and determined the cause of death to be a skull-fracture brain injury due to blunt force impact.

State Police Capt. Robert LaFountain said Friday that no further details of the accident will be released, in light of the upcoming court case.

FAMILY DEVASTATED

“I don’t care what age you are; you should still be behind those bars,” Karen Poissant said Friday in regard to Trombly being released. “They would do that to anybody else.”

She described a drunk driver behind the wheel of a car as a “loaded gun.”

Ashley was like a daughter to her, she said.

”She was so beautiful and so full of energy. Her personality was like a ray of sunshine.”

The night of the accident, Ashley came home and announced her promotion to manager of McDonald’s in Champlain, Karen said.

“We got that call (about the accident) not even an hour later.”

Ashley was an avid runner and walker, her mother-in-law said.

“After work, that was her release, to let out (the stress from the day).”

SONS CAN’T COMPREHEND

Ashley’s three sons — Logan, 8, Ethan, 6, and Owen, 5 — still don’t fully understand what happened to their mother, Karen said.

“There’s not one day that they don’t ask, ‘Is mommy coming home tonight?’” she said. “All you can do to them is hold on tight and explain to them that’s she’s an angel, because they don’t understand death.”

The three boys wrote notes to their mother and attached them to balloons, setting them off into the sky, Karen said.

At Ashley’s funeral, her youngest son was expecting his mother to return, Karen said.

“He said, ‘Nanny, when is mommy coming out to see us? I’m waiting.’”

Ethan constantly draws pictures of the accident, Karen said.

“He has a vivid picture of his mother flying through the air to hit a tree.”

She said the staff at Rouses Point Elementary School have been wonderful to the boys.

“They come to get them and bring them to ball games and bring them to the park.”

Karen said her son is “still going through a lot. He’s very angered.”

Ashley’s mother is Angeline Tanguay of Bedford, Quebec, and her father is Darren Reynolds of Chazy. She has eight brothers and sisters.

“We all miss her, wish she was here, wish we could turn back the hands of time,” Karen said. “Life isn’t the same when they take away something so precious from you.”

Email Felicia Krieg:

fkrieg@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @FeliciaKrieg