OIathe man facing murder charge after alleged argument leads to deadly motorcycle wreck

Kansas News

OLATHE, Kan. — An Olathe man has been charged with murder after a fight led to a deadly wreck with a motorcyclist, prosecutors say.

Ruben Rodriguez has been charged with second-degree murder in Johnson County, Kansas, in connection with the death of Dade Smith, who was killed in the November 2021 crash.

Court documents say Rodriguez and Smith were forced to leave the FedEx facility where they had been working after getting into an argument. The two men were package handlers at the facility, and it was their first day providing substantive work for the company.

According to FedEx, Rodriguez had threatened to fight Smith in the parking lot during their argument. Other employees reported that Rodriguez said he wasn’t afraid to catch another felony, court documents say.

The two men left the FedEx facility around the same time, Smith on a motorcycle and Rodriguez in a Cadillac Escalade.

Rodriguez’s Escalade had a dash camera, and police were able to get the footage showing the deadly crash.

Charging documents say Rodriguez left the facility the turned around and headed back. As he finished turning around, police said you can hear and see Smith’s motorcycle in the dash camera footage.

Police said Rodriguez slowed down again, to about 11 mph, before pulling into a business’s driveway in front of Smith.

Smith crashed and fell into Rodriguez’s vehicle. Smith died on scene.

When police spoke to Rodriguez, he said he turned around to ask FedEx human resources a question. He said he thought the motorcycle was far enough away that he could turn safely, court records say. When pressed about why he turned into the business and not FedEx, he said he thought the parking lots connected.

He denied knowing Smith, police said.

Rodriguez is currently in the Johnson County jail with a $250,000 bond.

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