INDIANAPOLIS — A 19-year-old man involved in a Tuesday night crash in east Indianapolis that killed three people has been charged in Marion County. He was released from jail on Saturday morning.
According to court documents filed in Marion County filed on Thursday, 19-year-old Luis Leyba-Gonzalez was charged with three counts of resisting law enforcement resulting in death, a Level 3 felony, and three counts of reckless driving causing death, a Level 5 felony.
Officials said that the prosecution asked for a greater than standard bond for Leyba-Gonzalez in this case. This request was denied by Judicial Officer Jennifer Prinz-Harrison. Leyba-Gonzalez was able to post a $1,000 bond and a $50,000 surety bond, according to officials.
According to previous reports, Leyba-Gonzalez was driving a Dodge Challenger with two passengers when a state trooper attempted to pull him over. Leyba-Gonzalez allegedly refused to stop, leading troopers on a chase. Leyba-Gonzalez then crashed the Dodge Challenger into another vehicle near 10th and Mitthoefer on Tuesday evening.
The crash caused the death of three people, identified by the Marion County Coroner’s Office as 21-year-old Makayla Hankins, a person in the other vehicle, 14-year-old Christian Leyba-Gonzalez and 32-year-old Jose Gonzalez Jr., the other two individuals in the Challenger who were later identified as his brother and cousin, according to previous reports.
The documents said that when troopers arrived at the crash scene, they observed “an extremely large field of debris” that extended from the intersection westbound down 10th Street. Officials said this included multiple signs, vehicle parts, a vehicle wheel and a fire hydrant.
Troopers learned that this crash occurred after a law enforcement pursuit of the Dodge Challenger, according to the documents. Officials said the vehicle was speeding, following vehicles too closely and weaving in-and-out of traffic, which caused the traffic stop to be attempted.
Officials said during the chase, the highest speed verified was around 140mph. The pursuit ended around the intersection of E10th Street and German Church Road around 9:50 p.m. after officers terminated the pursuit. The documents said that the crash reportedly occurred three minutes later.
Witnesses claim the Dodge Challenger disregarded a red light at an extremely high rate of speed. Officials said that a vehicle, identified as a Toyota Camry, was struck by the challenger and Hankins was ejected from the Camry.
When Luis Leyba-Gonzalez was interviewed by police at the hospital, the documents said that he wanted “to claim full accountability for the crash,” the documents said.
“Luis said he was sorry for his actions and sorry to the law enforcement officers that he fled from,” the documents said. “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. Luis said he fled from law enforcement, went through an intersection and struck another vehicle. Luis said he did not remember anything immediately after the crash and did not know if the police were still chasing him.”
According to court documents filed on Oct. 3, officials said that Leyba-Gonzalez pleaded not guilty in court and a pretrial hearing has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2024. Officials also said a jury trial is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2024.