YATES COUNTY, N.Y. -- The man accused of driving while on drugs and causing the deaths of six Amish farmers pleads not guilty to a grand jury's 18 count indictment in Yates County court.
Steven Eldridge faces a number of charges including aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, and manslaughter. Authorities said toxicology reports reveal Eldridge had cocaine in his system at the time of the crash.
The charges stem from crash that happened on Preemption Road in the town of Benton in July. Investigators said Eldridge illegally passed a large farm tractor and crashed into a van carrying 13 people, sending it spinning into and under the tractor.
In court yesterday, the DA filed statements he intends to use as evidence as well as information on Eldridge's criminal history, including a grand larceny felony Eldridge was convicted of in Monroe County in 2006.
Yates County District Attorney Jason Cook said, "His defense attorney served notice of intent to serve psychiatric evidence. We filed our standard discovery demands and announced our trial readiness so the next step will be the filing and argument if motions."
Eldridge's attorney declined to comment, but in court documents he said he planned to present an insanity defense. A trial date has not been set.