Shandaken man gets up to six years for fatal drunk driving accident

By Jay Braman Jr.
A Shandaken man is expected to get one to three years in prison for killing a passenger in his pickup truck in a drunk driving incident last fall.
Jay Conosa, 44, of 11 Regina Way, in the Broadstreet Hollow area of Shandaken, pleaded guilty Monday in Ulster County Court to second-degree vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault, prosecutors said. Conosa is expected to be sentenced on May 18 to one to three years in state prison on each count.
On Monday Conosa pleaded guilty to felony charges in a one-vehicle accident last September that claimed the life of his passenger, Timothy Phelan, 48, of Phoenicia, and seriously injured the other passenger, Karl W. Bowers, 50, of Shandaken, who suffered multiple rib fractures and other injuries.
State police took a blood sample from Conosa following the crash and found he had a blood alcohol content of 1.1 percent, exceeding the state’s legal limit of .8 percent for alcohol. Prosecutors said Conosa admitted drinking beer and other alcoholic drinks at a local tavern before driving home to Shandaken.
Conosa was driving a 1987 pickup truck with two passengers on Broadstreet Hollow Road in the Town of Shandaken at about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2008, when the truck veered off the pavement at a sharp bend in the road and struck a large tree.