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Pedestrian killed in Potsdam hit-and-run; driver charged with manslaughter, DWI

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POTSDAM — A woman visiting here from China was killed Saturday night in a hit-and-run accident by an allegedly drunken driver who has been charged with manslaughter.

Fuli Wu, 59, who was here from China to visit relatives in the Potsdam area, was walking on May Road near Haggerty Road about 8:30 p.m. when she was struck by a car that then left the scene, according to Potsdam police.

Ms. Wu was unresponsive when emergency responders arrived. Potsdam Rescue Squad members attempted to resuscitate her and took her to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police identified the driver as Laurel L. Randall, 44, Potsdam. She and a passenger, Stephen E. Coates, 48, of Potsdam, were found at a residence on Debra Drive, where they had put the car in a garage, according to police.

Ms. Randall was given a Breathalyzer test that showed a blood alcohol content of 0.21 percent, police said.

A BAC of 0.08 percent or more is considered proof of intoxication under state law. Aggravated DWI is charged when the BAC is 0.18 percent or more.

She was charged with first-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident, tampering with physical evidence, driving while intoxicated, aggravated DWI and conspiracy.

Mr. Coates was charged with tampering with physical evidence and conspiracy.

Both were arraigned before Village Justice Nicholas J. Pignone and taken to the St. Lawrence County jail, Canton. Ms. Randall was held on $10,000 bail; Mr. Coates held on $3,000 bail.

Coroner June H. Wood ordered an autopsy, which will be performed at a later date.

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