Man arrested last week for 1999 deadly DUI crash

Posted at 4:16 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 19:16:30-04

A man police say is responsible for a deadly DUI crash 17 years ago has been arrested.

Gerardo Rodriguez, now 37, was arrested last week at his home in Chandler in connection to the April 17, 1999 crash.

It appears that a misspelling in the suspect's name and an incorrect date of birth were to blame for the delay.

Police say that about 8 a.m. that April morning, Rodriguez was driving a car with four other passengers. He was on Usery Pass Road just North of McDowell and driving about 70 mph in a 45 mph zone. He hit some dips in the road and lost control of the car, rolling it. Three passengers in the back seat were ejected from the car.

One of them, George Bernal, was killed.

Police say that a blood draw was done on Rodriguez that day and his B.A.C. level was .206, over two times the legal limit.

Detectives attempted to interview him after his release from the hospital but were not able to locate him. It appears investigators misspelled his name and wrote down an incorrect date of birth. 

On May 16 the case was put in the cold case files and Rodriguez was found with his social security number and arrested at his Chandler home. 

He has been charged with aggravated assault, endangerment and manslaughter.