BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) -The man convicted of driving drunk on the Northway, then hitting and killing a tow truck driver, was sentenced in Saratoga County. Judge James Murphy III gave Justin Rodriguez a maximum of twenty-two and a half years of prison.
Alex Bleickhardt was helping a motorist in need while working his job at TowAway LLC on the night of September 15, 2022. Rodriguez entered the Northway after drinking heavily at a local Applebee’s and eventually collided with Bleickhart.
Bleickhardt’s mother took the stand to read aloud statements of her own along with other family members’ to express their feelings of sorrow and wanting to change the past. “I’m holding my own grief and that of all my loved ones. What could have been different? I’m the one who pushed him to get his CDL after he was twenty-one because in high school he really wanted to get it.”
Regardless of their regrets, the family voiced to Judge Murphy that Rodriguez should be held accountable to the full extent of the law. “To impose the maximum incarceration on all the charges the jury has found Mr. Rodriguez guilty of pertaining to this case,” stated Bleickhardt’s father.
Rodriguez’s character was also brought into question. Prosecutors say on the night of the crash, Rodriguez was told Bleickhardt had died, but his thoughts were elsewhere. “His only concern is for the location of his truck and the personal items inside. He even went on to say that he didn’t care and was (expletive) regardless.”
Bleickhardt’s dog, Moose, was with him the night of the crash. Moose supported the family in and out of court as their therapy dog. Although the family had hoped for a longer sentence, they told NEWS10 that the healing process can now begin.
“It is helping us move on by getting justice for Alex. Tomorrow is a year since he was tragically killed on the Northway by Justin P. Rodriguez. We feel that justice has been served as best as it can be,” explained Bleickhardt’s aunt.