Troopers: Tow truck operator killed by drunk driver in Wilton Northway crash; Preparing for tow when struck

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PHOTOGRAPHER:

WILTON A tow truck driver servicing a truck on the side of the Northway was killed when he was struck by a drunk driver Thursday night, New York State Police said.

The drunk driver, identified as Justin P. Rodriguez, 41, of Moreau, survived the crash and has since been charged with first-degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, police said.

Killed in the crash was Alex W. Bleickhardt, 33, of Pottersville, Warren County. Blieckhardt died at the scene, police said.

The crash happened just after 10:30 p.m. on Interstate 87 in Wilton, police said.

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A preliminary investigation determined Rodriguez was headed north when his car left the travel lanes onto the shoulder and struck a box truck, tow truck and the tow truck’s operator Bleickhardt, police said.

The box truck was being serviced and Bleickhardt was preparing it to be towed, police said.

The crash trapped Rodriguez in his vehicle. He was extracted and taken to Albany Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Rodriguez was later released from the hospital and taken into custody by police.

Rodriguez has multiple past convictions for DWI and his license has been permanently revoked, police said.

Rodriguez was arraigned and ordered held without bail.

State Police were assisted at the scene by the New York State Department of Transportation, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, Wilton Fire and Wilton EMS.

The investigation remained ongoing Friday. Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at [email protected]

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Categories: News, News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs

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