Potsdam woman jailed after killing visitor from China in hit-and-run crash
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 9:24 am

POTSDAM -- A Potsdam resident was jailed on $10,000 bail Saturday after allegedly killing a woman visiting from China with her vehicle, then fleeing the scene of the accident.

Village police say they were notified at 8:37 p.m.that a pedestrian had been struck on May Road near Haggerty Road. When officers and Potsdam Rescue Squad volunteers arrived, they discovered Fuli Wu, 59, of China, lying in the road unresponsive.

Officers and rescue squad members performed CPR and she was transported to Canton-Potsdam Hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Police, along with the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, state police, Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department and the Potsdam Rescue Squad, secured the scene. Information was obtained which led officers to a residence at Debra Drive and another residence on Missouri Avenue, police said.

The driver of the vehicle,  Laura L. Randall, 44, Potsdam, and a passenger, Stephen E. Coates, 48, of Potsdam, were located at Debra Drive, police said.

The suspect vehicle was concealed in a garage on Missouri Avenue, police said.

Both Randall and Coates were transported to the Potsdam Police Department where they both provided statements about the accident, police said. Randall was also found to be intoxicated and submitted to a breathalyzer test revealing a blood alcohol content of .21 percent, more than twice the .08 percent legal limit.

Randall was charged with vehicular manslaughter first degree, leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident, tampering with physical evidence, driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated, and conspiracy sixth degree, police said.

Coates was charged with tampering with physical evidence and conspiracy sixth degree.

Both were arraigned before Judge Nicholas Pignone. Randall was sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bail bond. Coates was also sent to the jail in lieu of $3,000 cash or $6,000 bond.

Coroner June Wood responded to Canton-Potsdam Hospital and ordered an autopsy which will be performed at a later date, police said.