Bedford man charged with manslaughter after Tuesday crash

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By Lorrie Kinkade


The Trimble Banner

One man is dead and another facing manslaughter charges following a two-vehicle crash Tuesday night.

Jose Luis Benitez, 32, of Milton died Nov. 11 after the car he was riding in was struck by a pickup truck in the 6800 block of U.S. Hwy. 421 North. The collision occurred at around 4:45 p.m.

According to the Kentucky State Police, the driver of the car, Herberto Rodriguez, 32, of Bedford, was traveling northbound on the highway when he attempted a left turn into the parking lot of Midway Stop ‘N’ Go. Police said he drove the 1999 Mercury into the path of a 2000 GMC pickup driven by Lori Howdyshell of Milton. Howdyshell was unable to avoid the crash and collided with the passenger side of the Mercury.

Trimble County Deputy Coroner Bill Henderson pronounced Benitez, a passenger in the rear seat, dead at the scene.

Howdyshell and two passengers in the Mercury, Julio Hernandez, 34, and Sixto Hernandez, 20, both of Milton, received minor injuries in the crash and were transported to King’s Daughters’ Hospital in Madison, Indiana for treatment.

Rodriguez received minor injuries and was transported to the Carroll County Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was later arrested and charged with first-offense DUI, aggravated and second-degree manslaughter. KSP Public Affairs Officer Chip Perry said no other charges are anticipated at this time and the department is awaiting test results to determine Rodriguez’s exact blood alcohol content.

As of Nov. 12, Rodriguez remained lodged in the Carroll County Regional Detention Center. His bond has been set at $50,000 full cash.

KSP Trooper Charlie Kelton is leading the crash investigation. He was assisted on the scene by KSP detectives Kevin Johnson and Steve Goodale, as well as Henderson, Trimble County EMS and the Milton and Bedford volunteer fire and rescue departments.