Linden man admits to vehicular homicide

A Linden man has admitted to being responsible for an alcohol-related vehicular accident that took the life of a motorcyclist a little more than a year ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.

Antonio Rodriguez, 46, pleaded guilty to charges of death by auto and driving while intoxicated for causing the wreck that killed 51-year-old Carlos Arce of Elizabeth.

At approximately 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 2015, Rodriguez was traveling east on East Elizabeth Avenue in Linden, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Colleen Ruppert, who prosecuted the case. Rodriguez then made a left-hand turn onto McKinley Avenue, cutting off Arce, who was operating a motorcycle and heading westbound on East Elizabeth, Ruppert said.

Arce attempted to avoid a collision, but became separated from his vehicle and slid into the rear of Rodriguez’s vehicle. He was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation involving the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Linden Police Department determined that Rodriguez had a blood-alcohol level of slightly more than twice the legal limit at the time of the accident.

The State will recommend a term of five years in state prison, with 85 percent of that period to be served before the possibility of parole, when Rodriguez is sentenced before state Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch on March 10, 2017.