Man Pleads Guilty in 2010 Accident That Killed Rutgers Student Cyclist

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The man who struck and killed Rutgers student Chelsea Traynor with his truck in 2010 has pleaded guilty to a count of death by auto, admitting he was driving recklessly.

A press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office announced that Roger Hode, a 43-year-old man from South River, pleaded guilty in an agreement with Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher L.C. Kuberiet.

According to the agreement, Hode will face up to four years in a state prison and must serve at least 85% of his term before he can be eligible for parole.  After release, he will be under parole supervision for three years.

Shortly after 11 a.m. on December 9, 2010, Chelsea Traynor, 21, was riding her bicycle across the intersection of Route 18 and George Street in New Brunswick when Hode stuck and killed her with his Ford pickup truck.

During the ensuing investigation, the New Brunswick Police Department determined that Hode was "impaired" when he hit her, according to the release.  Records show he was also using his cell phone at the time.

Traynor was a Rutgers student, originally from Concord, California, according to a report on NJ.com.  She was a sophomore majoring in nutritional sciences at the university’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

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Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.