The families of an Indiana couple killed by an alleged drunk driver state that police spoke to the suspect just under two hours before the fatal accident, allowing him to drive anyway, according to an offense claim filed against the local police department.
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In October 2017, the couple were killed after the suspect, Tron Gorbonosenko allegedly drove his Ford Mustang into the couple’s car, killing them instantly.
Gorbonosenko has been charged with two felony counts of operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of more than 0.15 percent, and two Level 5 felony counts of reckless homicide.
The couple’s family alleges in the claim that approximately 90 minutes before the crash, La Porte police responded to a 911 call regarding Gorbonosenko’s driving, giving them the opportunity to impound his car and ultimately avoid the fatal crash.
Based on details listed on the claim, the officers failed to perform their duties because they knew Gorbonosenko, who is an employee of La Porte County.
According to an eyewitness, while driving, Gorbonosenko allegedly missed his turn and drove up onto a sidewalk before turning into a nearby parking lot. When Gorbonosenko put his car into reverse, he allegedly struck a telephone pole.
Gorbonosenko allegedly got out of the vehicle and “staggered” into a nearby business. The claim states that a witness walked over to Gorbonosenko’s Mustang to inspect it., finding grass stuck to the bumper and along the passenger side, leading him to believe that Gorbonosenko allegedly drove off the road and into a ditch at some point. He allegedly smelled alcohol on Gorbonosenko’s breath, and immediately called 911.
A La Porte police report from that night confirms three police officers responded to the scene and that there was evidence showing the vehicle hit the light post and the parked vehicle. According to the witness, at least two La Porte police officers allegedly approached Gorbonosenko and spoke to him. However, they did not perform any sobriety tests, nor did they search his vehicle, which according to the claim, was later found with empty alcohol bottles inside. The witness alleged that the officers let him drive.
The claim estimates the couple’s estates are owed $700,000 in damages; it was sent to nine recipients, including the La Porte City Attorney, and County Council.
If convicted, Gorbonosenko faces up to 36 years in prison. Reportedly, he is currently out on a $25,000 cash bond.
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