31 May 2022
 
 
NEW YORK STATE POLICE 
Major Carla A. DiRienzo
Troop T Commander
 
 


 

PRESS RELEASE

*UPDATE*- July 14, 2022

On July 13, 2022, State Police extradited Ardit Lleshi, age 25, of Garfield, NJ. 

On June 30, 2022, State Police- Latham BCI traveled to New Jersey, where they identified Lleshi as the driver involved in this collision.  Lleshi was arrested by the New Jersey Garfield Police Department under a Fugitive from Justice Warrant in conjunction with the New Jersey Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending extradition proceedings.  

A joint investigation with the New York State Intelligence Center and the New York State Thruway Authority determined that Lleshi was operating a 2013 Mercedes ML 350 on May 29, 2022, at approximately 11:30 p.m. when he struck and killed Michael Tran in the northbound lanes along the New York State Thruway.  Lleshi is charged with:

  • Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Collision, a class “D” felony

Lleshi was arraigned in the Town of Bethlehem Court and released on his own recognizance with a return court appearance on August 4, 2022

The investigation is still active. Anyone with additional information is asked to email Investigator Michael Altieri at michael.altieri@troopers.ny.gov.


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On May 29, 2022, at about 11:16 p.m., State Police responded to a property damage crash on the NYS Thruway in the southbound lanes south of Exit 23 in the town of Bethlehem. An investigation determined that a vehicle being driven by Michael T. Tran, 48, of Albany, NY, was driving north in the southbound lanes when his vehicle struck a tractor-trailer. Tran, who witnesses say and appeared to be uninjured, walked away from the scene before Troopers arrived. A search of the area was conducted, but Tran was not located.

 

On May 30, 2022, at about 11:49 a.m., during a second search of the crash area, Troopers discovered Tran deceased in the median south of Exit 23. Based on his injuries, it is believed he was struck by a northbound motor vehicle sometime after leaving the scene of the initial crash. Troopers ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact State Police Troop G at 518-783-3211. 

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