Only on 6: New details in fatal wrong-way crash that killed former fire chief


New details tonight in a fatal wrong-way crash that took the life of a former fire chief and Stop-DWI advocate.

CBS 6 has confirmed the driver police say caused the crash was intoxicated.

For the first time, the victim’s mother is speaking out about the night she lost her son, and her quest to prevent another tragedy.

“He texted me at 9:19pm and said I’m on my way home, I’ll be there by 10pm.”

That was the last interaction Janice Prior ever had with her son Rob.

“The news came on and I believe it was Liz Bishop who said, ‘Happening right now on the New York State Thruway’, and I knew,” Prior said.

The crash that claimed Rob Prior's life happened two years ago, but many details of that night, were never released publicly.

Just this month, CBS 6 confirmed the wrong-way driver police say struck Rob was intoxicated.

A state police investigator confirmed the driver's blood alcohol level was .26, more than three times the legal limit.

“He hit Rob, he was going 95 mph,” Prior said.

The fatal crash on the Thruway was the second DWI tragedy for the Prior family. Before Rob was killed, he had lost the use of his legs in another DWI crash in 2008. In that crash, Janice says Rob himself, was drunk driving and slammed into a tree. At the time of the crash Rob was the Coeymans fire chief.

“He was in a wheel chair after that,” Prior said.

Rob used his second chance at life to try and prevent others from making the same mistake he did.

“He joined Stop-DWI and talked at the impact panels, I can’t even tell you how many schools he went to and spoke,” Prior said.

The drunk driver police say caused the crash that took Rob's life was 73-years-old, he was killed instantly.

Rob was rushed to the hospital where his parents made the difficult choice to take rob off of life support.

“It was awful, I can’t even,” Prior said.

After their lives were impacted twice by DWI, Janice is now telling Rob's story, to hopefully stop drunk driving in Albany.

“I don’t think it’s any different than going out into the crowd with a loaded gun, that vehicle they're driving is a murder weapon,” Prior said.

We met Janice Prior at a victim impact panel, where she was supporting other victims of drunk driving.

Halloween marked two years since her son's passing.

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