Potsdam woman going to prison for striking Chinese visitor with her vehicle, killing her
Monday, May 5, 2014 - 2:28 pm

POTSDAM -- A Potsdam woman has been sentenced to 4 1/3 to 13 years in state prison for striking and killing a Chinese tourist with her car a year ago in Potsdam.

Laurel L. Randall, 45, was sentenced by St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome Richards for first-degree vehicular manslaughter. A grand jury indictment also included charges of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, first- and second-degree vehicular assault, tampering with physical evidence, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and aggravated driving while intoxicated. It was alleged that Randall had a blood alcohol content of .21 percent at the time of the incident.

Police charged that Randall’s vehicle struck and killed Fuli Wu on May Road. They say she and her passenger, Stephen Coates, 49, also of Potsdam, left the scene without calling 911 or otherwise alerting authorities. It was alleged that Coates helped her hide her vehicle to avoid detection.

An investigation led officers to a residence at Debra Drive and another residence on Missouri Avenue, where the vehicle was found.

Wu, from China, was in Potsdam visiting family in late March 2013 when she was struck and killed.

Her son-in-law, Chenjie Miao, provided a victim impact statement to the court.

“Randall is a threat to public safety and the only way to protect the public is to incarcerate her for as long as possible," he said.