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Guilty plea in I-890 motorcycle crash

Guilty plea in I-890 motorcycle crash

Judge: 'What you did was extremely dangerous and reckless'
Guilty plea in I-890 motorcycle crash
John T. Woodbeck Jr. is sworn in Tuesday during his guilty plea related to an April crash.
Photographer: Steven Cook

SCHENECTADY — The man who slammed into a motorcyclist on Interstate 890, fled and was later found drunk behind the wheel will serve a year in jail after he pleaded guilty Tuesday.

John T. Woodbeck Jr., 59, of Gidley Road, Esperance, appeared in court and admitted to felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor aggravated driving while intoxicated.

Judge Kathleen Hogan accepted the plea, noting that the motorcyclist wasn't seriously injured, it was Woodbeck's first alcohol offense and that Woodbeck accepted responsibility.

"What you did was extremely dangerous and reckless," Hogan told Woodbeck, "and the one silver lining out of all of this is that you're accepting responsibility and trying to change your life."

The charges stemmed from an April 23 incident where police said Woodbeck struck a motorcycle ridden by Jeffrey M. Burns along Interstate 890 in Rotterdam.

Burns, 45, of Schenectady, was thrown from the motorcycle and, in an interview with The Daily Gazette later, counted himself fortunate to have nothing worse than road rash and sprains.

Debris left at the crash scene on I-890, east of the Campbell Road exit, helped connect the crash to Woodbeck.

State police picked up Woodbeck a short time after the crash after getting a call about an SUV parked on Route 7 in Princetown.

State police connected that vehicle, a Honda Pilot, to a report earlier from the I-890 crash.

A breath test measured Woodbeck's blood alcohol content at 0.25 percent — roughly three times the legal limit for driving while intoxicated, police said.

Woodbeck must take part in any alcohol programs available at the jail during his year in custody and stay out of trouble. If he completes the terms, he will be allowed to change his plea from felony reckless endangerment to misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

He is to be formerly sentenced in November. He had been free on bail, however, he began serving his sentence Tuesday.

Woodbeck is represented by attorney Martin Bonventre. Daniel Bulger prosecuted.

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