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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 9, 2010

“He’ll never get over it”
Driver not charged in fatal accident

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — The Herkimer County man who struck and killed a Guilderland resident with his car in February found out Friday he will not face criminal charges.

On Feb. 20, Jamie Klemczak, a 21-year-old Guilderland High School graduate, was driving on the Thruway, in the early morning hours, when her car went off the road and got stuck in the snow. The Syracuse University student had been on her way home.

Klemczak was walking across the median when she was hit by a car, driven by 48-year-old Edward G. MacKenzie, of Ilion. MacKenzie’s attorney, Geoge Aney, told The Enterprise in February that it had been snowing at the time of the accident, and his client was blinded by headlights; when he heard a thud he thought he had hit an animal.

MacKenzie turned himself in to police later that morning, after he heard a report about the accident and realized the description of the vehicle matched his car.

Aney said this week that MacKenzie testified in front of a grand jury last Thursday, and his passenger testified last Monday; both said they had not seen a person on the night of the accident.

The grand jury on Friday found no substance for charges against MacKenzie, Aney said. The Department of Motor Vehicles also sent MacKenzie a notice stating it was closing his file without taking action, because of a lack of evidence of driver negligence.

“He is still very emotionally distraught, and feels little relief, if any, that they determined the accident was not his fault,” Aney said of his client. “He was still the driver. He’ll never get over it.”

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