Man charged with DWI and manslaughter in death of Ulster Park teen

A Port Ewen man was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, after striking and killing an 18-year-old pedestrian on Salem Street in Port Ewen on Thursday evening. 

According to a statement from the Ulster County Sheriff's Office, 44-year-old Paul L. DeGraff Jr. was driving a 2009 black GMC Sierra pickup truck eastbound on Salem Street in Port Ewen at 11:25pm, when his truck failed to negotiate a curve and struck a guardrail. The truck mounted the guardrail and continued driving along the eastbound shoulder, where it struck a pedestrian, 18-year-old Derek J. Wood of Ulster Park.

The truck then struck a tree and rolled over, trapping DeGraff inside. 

Wood was transported to Kingston Hospital, where he died of his injuries. First responders freed DeGraff from the truck and transported him to Kingston Hospital, then to Albany Medical Center, where he is being treated for a possible fractured neck. 

DeGraff's blood alcohol level was measured at over 0.18 percent.

DeGraff is now under guard at Albany Medical Center, facing charges of first-degree manslaughter, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and driving while intoxicated. 

Police are investigating the accident. Anyone who was in the area and may have seen DeGraff's truck is asked to call Ulster County sheriff's detectives at 845-338-3640.