FRANKLIN, Ind.—A Franklin man is officially being charged in connection with a hit-and-run crash that seriously injured three people in January.
Will Slinger, 29, is charged with three felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury.
Slinger was arrested in April after detectives released a surveillance photo of an SUV connected to the case. An anonymous tip led authorities to Slinger, who was arrested but then released on $300 bond just hours later.
According to the probable cause, it was surveillance video that cracked the case.
"It’s the most important piece of evidence we have," Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.
Investigators said Slinger was traveling at a high rate of speed in his SUV before hitting a 2004 Mecury Grand Marquis just before noon on January 23. The impact sent the Mercury into oncoming traffic, where it collided with a 1996 Buick. Slinger then fled the scene, said police.
The driver of the Mercury, Jeffrey Grant Black, Jr., was transported to Methodist Hospital with multiple bone fractures, lacerations and injury to his spleen. CBS4 spoke with Black, Jr. in April following Slinger’s initial arrest. Black was is in a wheelchair and undergoing therapy to learn to walk again.
The driver of the Buick, Mitchell Wohlmuth, was air lifted to Methodist Hospital and was in coma following the accident. His wife, Mary Litwicki, suffered injuries to her arm.
In April, after detectives released a surveillance video of the suspect’s SUV, an anonymous tip led authorities to Slinger. According to court documents, authorities located a silver Toyota Rav 4 with damage to the vehicle’s front driver’s side at his residence. Slinger’s father told detectives he believed his son borrowed the vehicle on January 23. Authorities later spoke with Slinger, who confirmed he was the only one with keys to the Rav 4 on January 23 because it was his birthday.
Authorities subpoenaed Slinger’s cell phone records from that day. Records showed Slinger received four calls in a short span of time from one particular number. Detectives spoke to the person, who identified herself as a friend of Slinger. She told authorities they were celebrating Slinger’s birthday and went several places, including a Waffle House on the morning of January 23. Authorities retrieved surveillance footage from Waffle House and observed Slinger leaving the parking lot around 11:41 a.m. Detectives say no damage was seen to Slinger’s vehicle when Slinger left the lot.
CBS4 investigated Slinger’s criminal record back in April. He was convicted in a 2005 crash that killed April Mulry, with her husband and 5-week-old baby in the car. That conviction included a charge for operating while intoxicated. While Slinger was out on bond awaiting trial for that 2005 crash, he caused another OWI crash, for which he was also later convicted.
Brian Mulry, who has since met Black and offered him support, said he was relieved to see charges filed.
"It’s on my mind every day, the families that are affected and of course having to relive our accident and the heartache that was caused there," Mulry said.
Neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected to be factors in January’s crash.
There is a warrant out for Slinger's arrest following the addition of two charges in January's hit-and-run crash. Officials say he will be eligible to bond out again.