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Clay man's reckless driving leads to felony charges

Crash mess dummy causes two wrecks in two days

Clifton R. Reynolds could be a candidate for Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Last Wednesday afternoon the 35-year-old Clay man flipped a green SUV into the doorway of the Pier 57 restaurant, 7376 Oswego Road, smashing into two other cars along the way.

He was admitted to Upstate University Hospital, but on Thursday night Reynolds was behind the wheel again driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer south along River Road in Lysander. While speeding and attempting to pass, Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies said, he crossed the double-solid-yellow line and crashed head-on into a compact Chevy driven by 23-year-old Rich Zimmerman of Cramer Road in Lysander.

Both men were hospitalized. Zimmerman underwent surgery on Friday and remained in serious condition while Reynolds was released into the custody of deputies.

After Wednesday's accident, deputies charged Reynolds, of 8406 Gaskin Road, with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated on drugs and possession of marijuana.

After investigators found that Reynolds had a history of DWI arrests, those misdemeanor driving charges were upgraded to felony status, according to Assistant District Attorney Chris Bednarski.

After Thursday's wreck on River Road, Reynolds was charged with driving without a license, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, driving to the left of pavement markings, reckless driving and speeding.

On Friday, Reynolds appeared before Clay Town Court Judge Christopher Gaiser who sent the defendant to the Corbett Justice Center. Gaiser set bail at $35,000 cash or $60,000 bond for the Clay charges and $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond on the Lysander charges.

Reynolds' license had been suspended after he pleaded guilty April 29 to driving while ability-impaired by drugs in Oswego last fall. When Reynolds was arrested Nov. 13, Oswego Police found methamphetamine and marijuana in his vehicle.

He had previously been convicted in 2001 of DWI in the town of Van Buren, deputies learned. And four years ago, Your News Now reported that a man stabbed during a drug deal gone bad told Syracuse Police that Reynolds was one of two men with him trying to buy dope at the Hilltop Apartments on the city's East Side on Oct. 12, 2006, when they were attacked.

Clifton R. Reynolds' mug shot, courtesy of the Civil Process Divsion

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