Hudson Valley Man Admits to Second Fatal Drunk Driving Accident
After spending time in prison for killing a man while driving drunk, a Hudson Valley man admitted to another fatal drunk driving accident.
On Friday in Ulster County Court, 41-year-old John J. Ronk of Esopus pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter.
Ronk confessed he drove a Nissan Xterra SUV while intoxicated and causing the death of a bicyclist, Brian Jones, on September 14, 2017.
Jones was the father to six children. Ronk’s blood alcohol content was .32, officials say.
Evidence collected at the scene by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police revealed Ronk crossed over the double yellow lines and struck the rear tire of Jones’ bicycle, causing Jones to be thrown from his bike and killed.
According to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office, Ronk attempted to flee the scene on foot. A passing motorist called 911 and alerted the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, who apprehended Ronk within minutes of the crash.
Ronk admitted he drank several large cans of beer with high alcohol content prior to driving and was headed to a store to buy more beer.
On July 4, 2000, Ronk killed a passenger in a pickup truck in Rhinebeck while Ronk was intoxicated. Ronk pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in Dutchess County Court on Aug. 17, 2000 and was sentenced to one to three years in state prison.
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