Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 24 year old Matthew Ruckdaschel of 20 Londonderry Lane, Getzville pleaded guilty, as charged, this morning, before Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide. This is the highest count of the indictment and the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. District Attorney Sedita praised the efforts of Assistant District Attorney Kelley A. Omel, Chief of his Vehicular Crimes Bureau, for successfully prosecuting the case and obtaining Erie County’s first conviction for Aggravated Vehicular Homicide since the statute was enacted in 2009.
Ruckdaschel admitted that on January 22, 2011, while intoxicated (his blood alcohol content was above .18%) and impaired by the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, he operated a motor vehicle recklessly (driving the wrong way and speeding) on the Kensington Expressway. As a result of such conduct, Ruckdaschel caused the death of 37 year old Orlando Anderson of Buffalo and 42 year old Thomas Johnson of Cleveland, Ohio.
Ruckdaschel faces a maximum prison sentence of 8-1/3 – 25 years when he is sentenced on August 13, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. before the Hon. Michael Pietruszka.