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Man sentenced to 15 years in prison for causing crash that killed Horicon boat-builder

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QUEENSBURY — The man accused of leading police on a chase, which ended when he crashed into a truck, killing a Horicon man, was sentenced on Wednesday to 15 years in prison.

Skyler B. Crouse, 32, had pleaded guilty in Warren County Court on Dec. 8 to manslaughter and assault charges for the Sept. 26, 2019 incident.

The pursuit began on the Northway near Exit 18 after state police observed Crouse’s truck speeding through a construction zone at 93 mph. Crouse accelerated to 111 mph as troopers and Warren County sheriff’s officers joined in the pursuit.

Police deployed spike strips. One of Crouse’s tires deflated, but he continued driving before getting off at Exit 25 in Chestertown. Crouse’s truck struck a pickup truck driven by 38-year-old Joseph Turcotte. Turcotte, a local boat-builder who had served on the Horicon Planning Board, was killed instantly.

Crouse told police he lived in Nedrow, a hamlet in Onondaga County near Syracuse. He said he was late for a birthday party and that he was “insane” and on drugs. He had been under the influence of nine different substances including cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs, court records showed.

Crouse had initially faced a 12-count indictment. In February 2020, he had rejected a plea offer that would have carried a sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison. The case was scheduled to go to trial in April of that year, but it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A new trial date was set for Nov. 17, 2020. However, the state on Nov. 14 suspended all jury trials because of an increase in virus cases.

Last April, Crouse was indicted on a second-degree murder charge on the grounds that he showed “depraved indifference” for Turcotte’s life with his reckless driving

However, the murder charge was dropped as part of the plea deal. Prosecutors said previously that there had been changes in case law regarding the depraved indifference standard, which could have led to an issue on appeal.

Check back at for more on this story.

Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or


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