31 May 2022
Major Carla A. DiRienzo
Troop T Commander



*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.

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. 

You must be logged in to view this item.

This area is reserved for members of the news media. If you qualify, please update your user profile and check the box marked "Check here to register as an accredited member of the news media". Please include any notes in the "Supporting information for media credentials" box. We will notify you of your status via e-mail in one business day.