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Fatal crash gets man 6 years; biker gave him middle finger

November 22, 2021 GMT

YORK, S.C. (AP) — A man who caused a motorcyclist to crash and die after the biker gave him the middle finger has agreed to deal to spend six years in prison, prosecutors in South Carolina said.

After the gesture, Joseph Anthony Rufo passed the biker on U.S. Highway 21 near Rock Hill in July 2019, then swerved in front of him slammed on his brakes, investigators said.

Dedrick Strain, 25, died after his motorcycle hit Rufo’s truck and his body then slammed into a guard rail, authorities said.

Prosecutor Matthew Shelton said a witness to the wreck would have testified that after the crash Rufo said “’You didn’t see what he did, he had it coming,” The Herald of Rock Hill reported.

Rufo, 45, was originally charged with murder, but took a deal to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter Friday and accept a six-year prison sentence.

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Rufo told troopers investigating the crash that Strain gave him the middle finger and patted the saddlebag of his motorcycle like he had a gun after they tangled in traffic, prosecutors said.

Rufo said he had to brake suddenly for traffic when Strain hit him, but other drivers disagreed, prosecutors said.

Rufo will be sentenced next week. He didn’t speak at his guilty plea.