Tom Kearney, District Attorney of York County ruled that the two State Police troopers from Pennsylvania who were running after a fleeing driver who eventually died when his car smashed and fell into Kiwanis Lake were only doing their duty.
Kearney issued a memorandum last Thursday that he was asked by the state police to decide if the actions of the troopers last month were within the law or criminal.
On September 16 at 3:30 in the morning, Hector Gonzalez age 31 and resident of Block 200 of West Maple St., York, died after the police pursued him for almost half-mile.
It was on Route 30 near Pennsylvania Avenue when Troopers Jeremiah R. Mistick and Joseph M. Kozuch sighted a Mercury Cougar running erratically so they tried stopping the car, but instead it sped off southwards to Pennsylvania Avenue until the driver lost control when it reached Parkway Boulevard.
Traveling at top speed, the car struck a curb near the intersection so it started rolling. Hitting a couple of trees, the car finally fell in Lake Kiwanis. During the crash, the driver was hurled from the vehicle as it started to roll. The car hit a couple of trees before diving in Kiwanis Lake. The driver, Gonzalez, was hurled out of the car sometime during the mishap. The troopers were not able to find the victim. The officials drained the lake and the body was recovered three hours later after the crash 40 feet away from the car.
Reconstructing the scene of the crash, the police learned that Gonzales was running at a speed of 85 mph.
After reconstructing the crash scene, Gonzalez’s speed was seen to have been around 85 mph.
Witnesses said that Gonzalez body was reeking with alcohol when pulled out of the water. He has two felony warrants and 16 other local warrants. According to Kearney, the primary concern of the officers was public safety which was endangered by the reckless driver. When the troopers switched on their lights and siren, Gonzalez increased the speed of his car and endangered people on the road.
The district attorney’s concluded that the actions of Troopers Jeremiah R. Mistick and Joseph M. Kozuch are commendable for their prompt efforts, although they were unsuccessful in locating and assisting Mr. Gonzalez after the accident.
Car Accident victims may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering in addition to economic damages.
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