Police: Driver was high when he caused deadly crash

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HYDE PARK, Vt. (WCAX) A man accused of getting high behind the wheel and killing a man in Elmore was back in front of a judge Wednesday.

This is the second time Colby Costello, 26, has been in court. He originally faced only charges of gross negligent operation with death resulting. But Wednesday, that changed. Costello pleaded not guilty to the added charge of driving under the influence of drugs in a fatal crash.

A toxicology report showed signs of alprazolam and buprenorphine in Costello's system. According to police, Costello was driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit when he crossed the center line, killing Dexter Thurston, 19. Thurston's girlfriend's 11-year-old brother was also in the car. He survived.

"He was a caring, loving individual who always looked out for the underdog," mom Vicky Thurston said.

Vicky Thurston was joined by friends and family before court with signs demanding justice for her son. She says her son loved the outdoors and had goals of being a doctor.

"He always had a smile like a mile long. He was always laughing and giggling and just wanted everyone around him to be happy," she said.

The group filled the courtroom as the state and the defense went back and forth arguing the charges and conditions. After the judge called for a recess, Costello's mother was called to the stand. It was determined that Costello would be released to his mother and she would make sure he sticks to his conditions and curfew, but he won't be living with her.

"Having a curfew with a person that is responsible for him that doesn't live in the same house as him makes absolutely no sense," Thurston said.

Costello walked free Wednesday.

"He actually gets a free ride it feels like," Thurston said.

Which has this grieving mother looking for answers.

"My son is not here. My younger son doesn't get his older brother and we don't have our beloved son anymore," Thurston said.

The police report states that Costello was wearing a seat belt. Thurston was not wearing a safety belt but his passenger was.

Costello is due back in court in December.