Driver Who Caused Crash that Killed Motorcyclist He Claimed Flashed Middle Finger Gets Prison

Joseph Rufo pleaded guilty to manslaughter

Joseph Anthony Rufo, Dedrick Quashanero Strain
Joseph Rufo, Dedrick Strain. Photo: York County Sheriff's Office; Crawford Funeral Home

A driver who caused a motorcyclist to crash and die after the biker allegedly flashed an obscene hand gesture in 2019 was sentenced to six years in prison after accepting a plea deal, according to the multiple reports.

On July 3, 2019, Joseph Rufo was driving a truck on U.S. Highway 21 near Rock Hill, S.C., when, he claimed, a biker gave him the middle finger. In response, Rufo swerved in front of the biker and slammed on his brakes, investigators said, the Associated Press reports.

Dedrick Strain, 25, died after he slammed into Rufo's truck and hit the guard rail, officials said.

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Strain, of Lancaster, S.C., died eight days before his 26th birthday, according to his obituary. He was married and had a daughter.

"You were such a great person, the kind of person that wanted to see your people doing good. My prayers for your wife Caroline, your mom and dad, and last but not least your living little angel your daughter whom you loved sooo much," Sabrina Hammond wrote in a tribute on his obituary. "You were sooo proud of her and being a dad."

Rufo accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to manslaughter, according to The Herald.

Prosecutors dropped a murder charge against Rufo as part of the plea agreement, the newspaper reported.

His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29.

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