NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An accused hit-and-driver has pleaded guilty in a deadly wrong-way crash that killed a beloved bar owner in Queens.
Peter Rodriguez entered the plea Friday in a Queens courtroom to plead guilty in exchange for three-and-half to seven years in prison. He will be sentenced on May 7.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports
Around 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2011, police said Rodriguez crashed into a livery cab on the Long Island Expressway service road killing 37-year-old George Gibbons.
Gibbons was heading home at the time of the crash after closing up his “Gibbon’s Home” bar in Maspeth.
Rodriguez fled the scene and Gibbons was pronounced dead on arrival.
Rodriguez was arrested in Connecticut after a month-long search.
Family and friends clad in green packed the courtroom to hear Rodriguez enter the guilty plea.
Many expressed disappointment with the sentence.
“I wish it was more but that’s the law in New York State so I guess there’s nothing we can do about it,” Gibbons’ father, George, said.
“We’re trying to change the law to make a difference for the next people that have to go through this,” Gibbons’ sister, Siobhan McEntee, said.
Police believe Rodriguez was drunk at the time of the accident but because he fled the scene couldn’t prove it.
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