Warsaw Police and the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office are still investigating the weekend accident in which Francisco J. Gonzalez, 24, of 704 Southside Dr., Warsaw, slammed his vehicle in a horse pulling an Amish wagon.
Police say Gonzalez’s blood alcohol level was .17 percent. He was taken to Parkview Hospital following the accident, but was released before police could take him into custody.
At approximately 10:52 p.m., emergency responders were called to Sheldon Street north of the Warsaw Super Wal-Mart for a passenger car that had struck a buggy and then fled the scene. Emergency personnel located the buggy over the curb on the west side of Shelden Street and observed that the horse had died.
Medical and fire personnel tended to five juvenile Amish males that had been ejected from the buggy. The Amish boys all suffered minor injuries and all of their parents signed off any medical treatment.
The teens all advised that they were traveling south toward Wal-Mart on Sheldon Street when they observed a white car pass them and drive down to the Wal-Mart lot and make a U-turn. The white car then travelled back north when the car swerved over into their lane and struck the horse and buggy head-on. The horse landed on the hood of the car and then fell to the pavement as the car backed up and fled the scene.
Warsaw Police located Gonzalez and his vehicle, a white 1993 Chevrolet Lumina near U.S. 30 at 200 West where the driver was attempting to restart the heavily damaged car to continue fleeing. The driver had minor bleeding to his head, but was also covered in blood from the horse.
He was transported by EMS to Parkview DuPont Hospital in Fort Wayne where a search warrant for alcohol testing was performed.
Only one witness at the scene advised police that they witnessed the white car northbound and hit the horse and buggy head-on. The investigation shows that the vehicle crossed left of center and collided with the horse drawn buggy. None of the buggy occupants, nor any witnesses told police that they thought the collision was intentional.
StaceyPageOnline.com was the only media to cover the event Saturday evening and was told, however, that witnesses did say the driver accelerated and intentionally struck the horse. A Walmart manager also noted surveillance video shows Gonzalez’s vehicle make a U-turn and driving back toward the horse and buggy.
The investigation continues by the Warsaw Police Department and the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office. WPD investigators request any witnesses to this accident that have not spoken with police are asked to contact the department at 574-372-9515.
Current charges being filed on Francisco J. Gonzalez are failure to stop after a vehicle accident, operating while intoxicated, and operating a vehicle while per se intoxicated.
Additional charges may be sought once the investigation is complete.
Gonzalez has NOT been arrested. The booking photo sent to news media is actually from a former arrest. We apologize for the confusion.