Man accepts plea deal following vehicular homicide accusation

Ergardo Rosario in Cortland County Court last year.

A man accused of vehicular homicide and other charges recently accepted a plea deal, according to a release.

According to a representative from the Cortland County Courthouse, Ergardo Rosario last Friday (Feb. 23) pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated vehicular homicide (a Class-C Felony).

According to a city police report, officers responded to a fatal car accident on Homer Avenue at 7:15 a.m. on Feb. 25 (2023). The vehicle, which had four individuals inside it, crashed into a utility pole. A female passenger in the vehicle died from the accident.

Rosario, the driver of a 2019 Nissan Versa, complained of chest pain and was taken to Guthrie Cortland Medical Center for further treatment. Two people were transported to Upstate University Hospital to treat serious injuries, the police report noted.

The report stated that while Rosario was being treated, he took a drug recognition expert evaluation. Rosario was found to be under the influence of drugs, impairing his ability to drive a vehicle.

“There was a death in this circumstance, and where there is death, there must be an accounting,” County district attorney Patrick Perfetti said via the release. “I must commend the diligent work of the Cortland City Police Department for a thorough investigation that led quickly to an arrest.”

For Rosari’s guilty plea of vehicular homicide, the release from the Cortland County District Attorney’s office noted that the state will look for a sentencing of 5-15 years in prison. Since Rosario has no prior criminal record, he will be sentenced as a first felony offender, according to the release.

“This kind of tragedy is an all too stark reminder of the perils of intoxicated driving,” Perfetti said. “That’s why the full resources of my office were committed to this prosecution.”

Rosario’s other previous charges included second-degree vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, driving while ability impaired by drugs, second-degree reckless endangerment and a traffic infraction of speeding.

Rosario and county court were set to conduct a jury trial, slated to begin on Monday (Feb. 26). Rosario, however, will now be sentenced at 10 a.m. April 23.