Man Sentenced to 37 Years for Fatal DUI Crash That Killed Weld Teen
Published on April 07, 2017
GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) - A drunken driver who killed a Severance teenager and left another severely injured following a crash last Thanksgiving was sentenced Friday to 37 years in prison.
Alex Rodriguez, 25, of Dacono, pleaded guilty in February to all four counts, including vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, DUI and failure to display proof of insurance.
Rodriguez crashed head-on into Nash Rider, 16, of Windsor, around 3:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving. Rider was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and continues to receive care from doctors. His passenger, Kyle Nackos, 19, of Severance, was pronounced dead at the scene.
This is the defendant's second DUI conviction. He pled guilty to DUI in 2012 after he crashed his car in LaSalle and passed out on a set of train tracks.
“There's only one way to describe the defendant: self-absorbed criminal,” said District Attorney Michael Rourke. “He has proven for the second time that he only cares about getting a buzz. Society simply can't trust him behind the wheel of a car. And unfortunately, these two families and the community have to pay for the actions he took that day.”
According to the affidavit, Weld County dispatch received several calls from citizens reporting a gray Jeep driving down the wrong side of Interstate 25. The driver was later identified as the defendant. Eventually, officers said Rodriguez crashed into Rider's vehicle near milepost 231. According to a toxicology report, his BAC was 0.146.
Friday's sentencing left little room as family members and friends of the victim's filled two courtrooms to show their support.
“Words can't describe the impact this has had on our lives or how broken we feel,” said Julie Nackos, Kyle's mother, at Friday's sentencing. “We have chosen to forgive. We will not carry anger and hatred on our hearts; however, forgiveness does not excuse others for their actions. I believe in justice and I believe in mercy, but mercy should never replace justice.”
“I now live in a world with a deep hole in the deepest part of my soul because of the defendant's actions to drink and drive,” followed Scott Nackos, Kyle's father. “Our lives are now changed, and we will have to live with the choice this defendant made.”
“This was not Nash's [Rider] choice to be hit by Alex Rodriguez, who is a habitual drunk driver,” said family friend Tori Hartman. “It was not Nash's choice for his quality of life and future to be forever changed. The Riders are starting over emotionally, physically, monetarily and spiritually as they continue to fight to keep Nash alive.”
Following Friday's sentencing, DA Rourke spoke about the effects of drunk driving and the impact it leaves on the community. “The defendant ripped away joy from so many families and severely hurt so many people. Everyone loses in this case. This is what happens when people are selfish and decide to drink and drive. We all lose.”