Motorcyclist charged with DUI manslaughter in passenger's death

Police: Konstantine Rudenko arrested in deadly crash that happened in October

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A man is charged with DUI manslaughter in connection with an October crash that killed the 22-year-old passenger riding on the motorcycle he was driving, authorities said.

According to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, a warrant was issued Wednesday for Konstantine Rudenko, 29, and he was arrested the next day. 

Rudenko, whose Facebook page says he is in the U.S. Navy, was booked in the Duval County jail on Thursday and ordered held on $150,000 bond, online jail records show. 

The motorcycle crash happened about 11:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at First Street and Beach Boulevard. 

Police said Rudenko, who was driving the motorcycle, failed to negotiate a roundabout and struck the center island landscaping wall. Police said his passenger, Leola-Rose Williams, was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene.

Rudenko was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, police previously said.

According to the Police Department, a blood draw was conducted on Rudenko and the results showed his blood alcohol content was above the legal limit. According to the arrest warrant, his blood alcohol content was 0.137. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08.

A neighbor told News4Jax that Rudenko, who is an officer in the Navy, and Williams were dating and rented a home in Atlantic Beach.

The neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, described Williams as a nice person and said she worked in the deli at the commissary.

"I was heartbroken," the neighbor said. "She was so sweet, so young. She always had a smile on her face."

The neighbor said she hopes William's family can have closure now that an arrest has been made. 

"I hope they have some peace," she said. "I know they’ve been real torn about it. They’ve been down here to collect her things. I can imagine they’re just heartbroken over it."

News4Jax looked into Rudenko’s background and found he served in Iraq and Kuwait. On the Veterans of Foreign Wars website, he’s quoted as saying he wanted to serve a greater purpose and that’s why he joined the Navy.

His mother declined to comment on his arrest.

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