19-year-old apologizes for crash killing 3; pursuit reached 140 mph before collision
More charges for suspect in fatal accident – News 8 at 10
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 19-year-old man apologized and claimed “full accountability” shortly after a Tuesday night crash that left three people dead, court documents show.
Marion County prosecutors charged Luis Leyba-Gonzalez with three counts of resisting law enforcement and three counts of operating a vehicle that resulted in the death of another person. According to a court document filed Friday, someone paid Leyba-Gonzalez’s $1,000 cash bond.
He apologized to police for fleeing and said he panicked once police began to chase him, court documents say.
State trooper Brandon Fletcher wrote in the court document, “Luis said he understood his Miranda Rights and stated he wanted to claim full accountability for the crash. Luis said he was sorry for his actions and sorry to the law enforcement officers that he fled from. According to Luis, his cousin was in the front passenger seat and his brother was in the back seat. Luis said his cousin had never ridden in his Challenger before, so he took his cousin and his brother out joyriding to impress them. Luis said while joyriding the police attempted to stop them, and he panicked.”
The incident unfolded shortly after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when state troopers attempted to stop Leyba-Gonzalez after seeing him weave through traffic and tailgating other vehicles. He was driving a 2014 Dodge Challenger in the area of East Washington Street and Mitthoeffer Road, Indiana State Police say. A 12-minute pursuit ensued, winding into rural Hancock County before returning to Indianapolis.
Court documents say a trooper indicate the highest speed reached during the pursuit about 140 mph.
Just five minutes later, Leyba-Gonzalez, still traveling at an excessive speed, disregarded a red light and collided with another vehicle at 10th Street and Mitthoeffer Road, not far from where the pursuit had ended.
Investigators used a search warrant to pull data from the Challenger’s airbag control module. It showed the vehicle traveling at 120 mph before impact.
He crashed into a Toyota Camry driven by Makayla Hankins. The 21-year-old was ejected from the car and died. In addition to Hankins, Leyba-Gonzalez’s cousin and brother, passengers in the Challenger, died in the crash. They were identified as Christian Leyba-Gonzalez, 14, and Jose Gonzalez, 31, both of Indianapolis.
According to court documents, debris from the crash was strewn throughout the intersection. The engine from the Camry was found in the driveway of a home three houses away from the scene.