Unlicensed NJ man gets 5 years for deadly wrong-way crash on Routes 202/206
BEDMINSTER — A township man without a valid driver’s license for years has been sentenced to a five-year prison term for a deadly wrong-way crash in Bedminster two years ago.
During his guilty plea in September, 68-year-old George L. Rodriguez admitted that his license had been suspended since 2012 due to multiple prior convictions for driving while intoxicated, Somerset County Prosecutor John McDonald said.
Rodriguez was driving his SUV on Routes 202/206 North in Bedminster on the evening of Nov. 13, 2020, when he crossed over into oncoming traffic at the intersection with River Road.
It is the only spot along the highway where the lanes are not separated by a concrete barrier.
Investigators said he never tried to brake or swerve as he slammed head-on into a car driven by 65-year-old Michael Sivulich, also of Bedminster.
Sivulich was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
At the scene, Rodriguez told police officers that he was trying to make a left turn and that he was “going the wrong way apparently.”
He also admitted to police that he defrauded both the state Motor Vehicle Commission and an insurance company for nearly two years, by registering and insuring his vehicle under the name and address of an acquaintance.
Rodriguez previously pleaded guilty to second-degree death by auto, third-degree driving while suspended and causing death and fourth-degree driving while suspended for a second or subsequent DWI.
He additionally pleaded guilty to third-degree counts of insurance fraud and motor vehicle title fraud — and was sentenced on motor vehicle summonses for driving while suspended and reckless driving.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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