LOWVILLE A Watertown woman was arrested Thursday on a manslaughter charge stemming from the crash in April that killed Lewis Countys senior planner.
Lewis County sheriffs deputies charged Deborah Kerwin, 40, Gill Street, with second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving and failure to keep right. She was arraigned in Village Court and sent to Lewis County jail with bail set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.
Mrs. Kerwin on April 13 allegedly drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle being driven by town of Martinsburg resident Renee J. Beyer, 39, on Route 12 in the town of Harrisburg.
Mrs. Beyer, who had worked in the county planning office since early 2005 as well as owning and operating Aspen Knoll Cabins on Swernicki Road, died April 15 at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, of injuries suffered in the crash, while Mrs. Kerwin suffered two broken legs.
Witnesses described a pattern of erratic operation by Mrs. Kerwin prior to her crossing over the center line and striking the Beyer vehicle head-on, a Sheriffs Department release said.
That led department officials to charge her with manslaughter under the section stating that a person recklessly causes the death of another person, according to Dale W. Roberts, the departments senior investigator.
Further charges may be forthcoming pending results of laboratory testing and grand jury proceedings, officials said.
Watertown city police assisted with the arrest, which occurred at Mrs. Kerwins residence.
Under her maiden name of Deborah Aguirre, she was charged in February 2012 by Watertown police with driving while ability impaired by drugs and making an unsafe lane change in the 300 block of Central Street.
She pleaded guilty in June 2012 to driving while ability impaired and was fined $300 and had her drivers license suspended for 90 days, according to city records.
Times records also show an October 2010 arrest for DWAI by drugs on Route 12 in the town of Watertown, but no record of any disposition could be found in Town Court records.
Johnson Newspapers reporter Christina Scanlon and Times staff writer Brian Kelly contributed to this report.