Court documents reveal Olathe November fatal crash started with workplace argument

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 18:05:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New court documents reveal that a November fatal crash in Olathe was initially caused by a workplace dispute.

The Nov. 18 crash was between a motorcycle and an SUV, and the motorcycle driver, 23-year-old Dade Allyn Smith, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The SUV driver, 35-year-old Ruben Rodriguez, was not injured in the crash and was later charged with second degree murder.

A court document obtained by KSHB 41 News revealed that both Rodriguez and Smith worked as package handlers at a FedEx facility in Johnson County, Kansas.

On the day of the crash, Rodriguez and Smith were removed from their work after Rodriguez threatened to fight Smith in the parking lot, according to the document.

Employees at the facility said that Rodriguez had mentioned he "wasn't afraid to catch another felony."

Because of the argument, FedEx suspended the men and told them to leave the facility. Rodriguez was told that he was not allowed on FedEx property during the investigation and was told to go home and wait for a call from their human resources department.

Another employee said that Rodriguez appeared to be getting "pretty fired up."

Smith and Rodriguez left the facility around the same time - Smith on his motorcycle and Rodriguez allegedly in his Cadillac Escalade, which had a dash camera that police obtained footage from.

"Rodriguez drove down the road, then turned around in a parking lot and headed back in the direction of FedEx," the document said. "As Rodriguez, finished turning around, you can hear Dade's motorcycle in the distance."

Rodriguez then allegedly slowed down to about 11 miles per hour, according to an Olathe Police Department officer's speed reconstruction, and turned into Bushnell. He then turned in front of Smith on his motorcycle, which caused Smith to crash and fall into the his car.

A witness to the crash spoke with Rodriguez asking if he called 911 to which Rodriguez said he did, but Rodriguez had not called 911 until after the witness did.

After police arrived, officers spoke to Rodriguez, and he claimed that he turned around because "he needed to ask HR a question."

"He said the motorcycle appeared far enough away that he felt he could have safely turned," the document said. "When pressed about why he turned into Bushnell instead of FedEx, Rodriguez said he thought the parking lot connected, so he pulled into the first lot."

Rodriguez also denied knowing Smith.

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Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.