EXCLUSIVE: Senator Jim Rhoades Death Coverup Part I

Posted on Mon 09/07/2009 by


Imagine a peaceful Friday afternoon. You are planning to go away for the weekend to celebrate your 25th wedding anniversary with your wife, even having a beer with your lunch at 11:30am after having spent the morning fixing your landlord’s girlfriend’s car with your son-in-law. After lunch, you go to a relative’s house a get the lawnmower you loaned out. You come home at 2pm and take a nap. At 5pm, you get up, go pick up your paycheck, and head to the bank to cash it. At 5:56pm, the teller sends your check through a machine that puts a date and time-stamp on it, hands you your money, and you leave. You stop at a gas station and then continue heading back home for your trip. At 6:35pm, you see a minivan pulled over to the side of the bridge and a black car coming up behind it. The black car swerves to miss the minivan, crosses into your lane, and smashes right into you.

Imagine further that you are taken in for emergency surgery, and wake up the next day to find out that the person who swerved into your lane was beloved State Senator Jim Rhoades who died as a result of the crash, and his wife, Mary, who was severely injured. You also find out that your own wife, who had been waiting for you at home the night before to go on a camping trip, spent the entire night not knowing where you were and only found out you were in an accident from the television.

Continue imagining yourself watching how the evidence keeps changing: the time of the accident has been reported in the news as being 7:37pm instead of 6:35pm, the point of impact on the police reports shows you in the senator’s lane, rather than him in your lane, the driver of the minivan (an Argentinian woman, Yamila Yafar, whose green card had expired) is sent away from your preliminary hearing before she gets to testify about what she saw, your wife gets brutalized and Tazered by a state trooper in an “unrelated case” and more…

This is exactly what happened to Thomas Senavitis, 45, of Kunkletown, on October 17, 2008.

This situation gets quite convoluted, so bear with me as we sort through all the evidence, corruption, and cover-up with a tangled web weaving through state police, the judiciary, and a possible relation to the case of the killed-in-the-line-of-duty State Trooper Miller on June 7, 2009, which may not be what it seems.

News reports said that Mr. Senavitis left his lane, allegedly as a result of driving drunk, and the crash happened in Senator Rhoades’s lane. They also said that the senator was driving north on State Route 209 from his home, heading to Pleasant Valley School District for an award ceremony (he had reportedly obtained $100,000 for the school and he was receiving a thank you award). In fact, the news said that he was “late” for this award presentation, but so far, no one has released a specific time when Rhoades was expected at Pleasant Valley.

Senavitis maintains he had only one alcoholic beverage that day, at 11:15 – 11:30am with his lunch. Although the police report has a drawing showing the accident taking place in the senator’s lane, we have photographic evidence that proves the crash occurred in Senavitis’s lane of travel. In addition, there is photographic evidence of burnout marks from the senator’s car as he peeled out of the parking lot of the Beachwood Inn, a bar and restaurant located just off the bridge where the cars collided, so he could not have been coming from his home – he was coming from a bar on privately-owned property.

News reports (presumably based on information obtained from authorities) said that Senavitis had a blood alcohol content of “more than 4 times the legal limit for driving” (specifically citing it as .355) when the crash took place. There are several problems with this scenario, as a human being with a BAC of .32+ would be borderline comatose. That fact notwithstanding, Mr. Senavitis had only one alcoholic drink, more than six hours before the accident. We know he got up at 5pm, went to his boss for his paycheck, and arrived to get the check cashed at the bank at 5:56 pm according to the time-stamp. Even District Attorney David Christine recognizes the improbability of the story, “The alleged alcohol reading would make it surprising that someone would not be in a coma, let alone be able to get into a motor vehicle.

To further compound the issue, Senavitis’s blood was not checked for alcohol or drug content by the hospital. They had only run medical blood tests, so the State Troopers confiscated the “actual blood of Thomas Senavitis” several days later on October 21 or 22. The State Troopers had their own BAC test run and came up with the comatose reading of .355. It is interesting to note that hospitals will test BAC if someone comes in from an auto accident and they reek of booze. It wasn’t done in Tom’s case. Why not? Did he not smell like alcohol? They already drew blood for the medical testing, why wasn’t BAC included?

Senator Rhoades was a diabetic. It is of note that alcohol consumption raises glucose levels which can cause a diabetic episode, and we know the senator was at a bar/restaurant only 66 feet away from the bridge.

Mrs. Rhoades filed a civil suit in early December against Tom Senavitis for wrongful death. That suit is pending.

Trooper Jason Beers didn’t even know which hospital Senavitis had been flown to, as he told the Pocono Record Tom was at Lehigh Valley, although Mr. Senavitis was actually taken to St. Luke’s in Bethlehem.

Read Part II for the rest of the story.

Missing evidence:

  • Senator Rhoades’s credit/debit card statement to possibly prove/disprove his presence at the Beechwood Inn just before the accident took place.
  • Witnesses from the Beechwood Inn – the owners packed up and moved away within days of the accident, so no names can be obtained of anyone who was potentially present when Rhoades was there that night. The owners are rumored to have moved to Florida and have not been seen in the area since. What happened to make Rhoades peel out of the parking lot the way he did – too fast, not checking for traffic?
  • Video of Senavitis putting gas in his truck after cashing his paycheck – would establish his ability to walk, pump gas, etc within 35 minutes of the crash, which could prove/disprove whether he was intoxicated at all, let alone at 4 times the legal limit.
  • Senavitis employer witness(es) – statements from Tom’s boss or other employees who may have seen him when he picked up his paycheck – could establish any visible intoxication within an hour of the crash.
  • Yamila Yafar – the driver of the minivan who mysteriously pulled over to the side of the bridge who was sent away from a hearing before being allowed to testify.What did she see that evening? Why did she pull over, on a small bridge, with her months-old baby in the back?
  • Yamila Yafar’s immigration documents – was her green card expired? Why was she sent away from the hearing before she even got into the courthouse? Has her green card been renewed in return for her silence? Why has she been telling family members and friends that she’s “doing what she needs to do for her children?”
  • Hospital records for Senavitis, to see if they did run a BAC that came up as .00 or well under the legal limit.
  • Senator Rhoades hospital records – to show his BAC and glucose levels, and whether those may have been contributing factors in the crash.

Click here for Part II.