BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Moreau man accused of striking and killing tow-truck driver Alex Bleickhardt on September 15 has been found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide. Justin Rodriguez faces twelve-and-a-half to twenty-five years in prison.
According to the evidence, Rodriguez had a history of four prior drunk driving convictions and had his license revoked. Despite this, he obtained a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado work truck, which he had at the time of the crash.
Before the fatal accident, Rodriguez was seen at the Applebee’s in the Town of Wilton, where he consumed excessive amounts of alcohol and appeared severely intoxicated. While leaving the parking lot, Rodriguez struck multiple curbs and almost hit a parked car. He even crashed through a metal post and chain barricade in the area of Hoffman’s Car Wash.
Witnesses on I-87 North saw Rodriguez’s vehicle swerving across lanes and traveling at a high rate of speed. Bleickhardt was attending to a disabled box truck at this time. Rodriguez rear-ended the truck, which led to Bleickhardt’s death.
Rodriguez recorded a BAC of 0.26% at the time of the crash and had cocaine and cannabis in his system. A loaded semi-automatic was located inside Rodriguez’s vehicle. As a convicted felon, Rodriguez was legally prohibited from possessing firearms.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 14 at 10 a.m. Rodriguez faces twelve-and-a-half to twenty-five years as an indeterminate sentence on the aggravated vehicular homicide charge and up to 15-year consecutive determinate sentence on the criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree charge.