Fatality suspect guilty in similar case
Admitted driving drunk in July 2000 rollover that killed Rhinebeck man
TOWN OF ESOPUS, N.Y. » A Port Ewen man accused of driving under the influence of alcohol when he struck and fatally injured a bicyclist Thursday evening has a previous conviction for a drunken-driving fatality, an Ulster County Sheriff’s Office captain said Friday.
In the Thursday incident, John J. Ronk, 40, was charged with the felony of aggravated vehicular homicide after the 2004 Nissan X-Terra he was driving struck a bicycle on New Salem Road in Esopus about 7:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office said.
The bicyclist, whose name was not immediately provided, died later at Health Alliance Hospital’s Broadway Campus in Kingston.
Ronk was arraigned in the Esopus Town Court and sent to the Ulster County Jail without bail.
Sheriff’s Office Capt. Vincent Altieri said Ronk had a previous conviction in a motor vehicle fatality but that he did not know the details. The Freeman’s online archives show a John J. Ronk, 23, of South Mill Road in Rhinebeck, pleaded guilty in Dutchess County Court on Aug. 17, 2000, to vehicular manslaughter in connection with an accident that killed 32-year-old Albert J. Glosque, who lived at the same address as Ronk.
Ronk admitted in court that he drank at least 18 beers while he and Glosque were fishing on July 4, 2000, and said he lost control of his pickup on the way home after swerving to avoid a deer on Morton Road in Rhine-
beck. The truck rolled over twice, and Glosque was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ronk was sentenced on Oct. 30, 2000, to a maximum of three years in state prison. Patrick J. Bailey, of the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said Friday that Ronk was in prison from November 2000 until July 2002.
A woman named Cassandra Lee Lazzaro posted on the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page Friday that she is Ronk’s wife and said he lost his license after the 2000 accident and didn’t get it back until three years ago. She also said her “prayers go out” to the family of the person who died Thursday.
Additional charges against Ronk are possible in connection with the Esopus accident, the Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
Ronk’s next court date has not yet been scheduled, Altieri said.