Hudson Valley Man Accused of Second Fatal Drunk Driving Accident
A Hudson Valley man is accused of causing his second fatal drunk driving accident.
On Thursday around 7:30 p.m., the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a car versus bicycle crash on New Salem Road in the Town of Esopus.
A preliminary investigation indicated that 40-year-old John J. Ronk of Port Ewen was driving his 2004 Nissan X-Terra while under the influence of alcohol when he hit the bicyclist, police say.
The bicyclist was transported by ambulance to Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley, Broadway Campus and later died from his injuries.
Police haven't released the victim's name, however a GoFundMe Page identified the deceased man as Brian Jones. The GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for Jones' funeral. Additional money will go towards charities that aim to stop drunk driving.
Ronk was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, a felony. He was arraigned in the Town of Esopus Justice Court and remanded to the Ulster County Jail without bail.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed, police say.
The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by members of the New York State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, New York State Police Forensic Investigation Unit and the Ulster County District Attorney's Office.
In 2000, Ronk pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter. In court, the then 23-year-old admitted that he drank at least 18 beers before getting behind the wheel.
Ronk lost control of his truck while trying to avoid a deer in Rhinebeck. A passenger in the car, 32-year-old Albert J. Glosque, died as a result of the crash. Neither wore seatbelts. Ronk was sentenced to one to three years in prison.
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