ALBANY, N.Y.– Ian Eckardt-Rigberg, 20, of Delmar, was sentenced in Albany County Court this morning to 3 1/3 to 10 years in State Prison for causing the death of Rozell Whitehead after striking him with his vehicle in 2012. He was also sentenced to a concurrent State Prison term of 2 to 6 years for leaving the scene of the incident and not reporting to the police.
On February 1, 2013, Eckhardt-Rigberg pleaded guilty to one felony Count of Manslaughter in the 2nd-Degree, and one felony Count of Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting.
According to authorities, almost a year ago on February 25, 2012, he was driving above the posted speed limit on I-90 in Albany when he failed to stop after being directed to do so by a marked police car.
He continued traveling at a high rate of speed and ran a red light while getting off of the interstate on Henry Johnson Boulevard, striking Rozell Whitehead with his vehicle, causing his death.
The defendant fled the scene and failed to report the incident. He then drove to the Bethlehem Police Department where he falsely reported being involved in various property damage accidents in the Town of Bethlehem.
He was operating the vehicle in violation of restrictions on his license at the time of the incident.
"This tragedy could have easily been prevented and Mr. Whitehead still with us today had this defendant simply made the choice to pull his vehicle over when the police officer directed him to stop before he even exited Interstate 90. Because of his careless decision not to heed the officers' instructions and then recklessly taking the life of Mr. Whitehead, Mr. Eckhardt-Rigberg will now spend the next several years in State Prison," commented DA Soares.
Vehicular Crimes Unit Bureau Chief Mary Tanner-Richter prosecuted this case.
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