A drunken drivers hit-and-run collision with a horse-drawn buggy over the weekend in Warsaw killed the horse and left him covered in the animals blood, the Warsaw Police Department said Monday.
Francisco J. Gonzalez, 24, of Warsaw is expected to be charged with failing to stop after an accident and two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Police said his blood-alcohol level was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
An investigation found that the horse-drawn buggy, carrying five teenage boys, was headed south on Shelden Street toward Walmart on Saturday night when a white car passed them going the same direction.
The car made a U-turn, came back toward the buggy and veered into its lane. The car struck the horse and buggy, and the horse landed on the cars hood. The animal fell to the ground when the car backed up and left the scene, police said.
The teens were ejected from the buggy, which jumped the west curb of Shelden Street.
The group suffered minor injuries, none of which required hospital treatment.
Officers and paramedics were sent to the scene about 10:50 p.m. None of the teens or witnesses told investigators they thought the collision was intentional, police said.
Police found the car, a 1993 Chevrolet Lumina, near U.S. 30 and Kosciusko County Road 200 West. At the time, Gonzalez was trying to restart the heavily damaged car.
His head was bleeding slightly and he was covered in the horses blood, police said.
Gonzalez was taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne to be treated. He was released from the hospital before he could be taken into custody, police said.
How that happened is not clear. On Monday, police officials did not return phone messages seeking an explanation.
Anyone who witnessed the crash and has not spoken with investigators is asked to call the Warsaw Police Department at 574-372-9515.