INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has added a slew of charges for a Pendleton man previously charged with reckless homicide in a crash that killed a Lyft passenger.
Connor Gaskill was originally charged with reckless homicide on October 21 in the September crash on the near north side that killed 22-year-old Rashid Conteh.
He now faces eight additional charges including causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated and four counts of criminal recklessness.
According to court documents, investigators determined Gaskill was heading west on E. 24th around 12:10 a.m. on September 29 when he failed to stop at a stop sign at N. Delaware Street. Gaskill’s vehicle then slammed into the passenger side of a vehicle going north on Delaware. According to data collected from Gaskill’s vehicle, he was going 55 miles per hour at the moment of impact, which was 20 miles above the posted speed limit in the area.
Conteh was a passenger in the backseat of the vehicle, along with two other people. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.
The driver of the car, which was operating as a Lyft vehicle at the time, was also seriously hurt with several broken bones. The other two passengers also suffered broken bones, according to police.
Investigators released an amended probable cause affidavit with the new charges, going more into detail about the crash and the following investigation.
According to the amended documents, an IMPD detective reviewed the body worn camera of several officers who responded to the crash. The detective noted Gaskill appeared to have slurred speech, droopy eyelids, and glassy eyes.
At one point, Gaskill was heard asking an officer if he was going to jail. When the officer asked why he would think that, Gaskill was heard saying, “Nothing, I didn’t do anything wrong, but I’m just confused.”
Nothing in the amended documents indicate Gaskill was given a breathalyzer or tested for impairment immediately following the crash.
The night of the crash
Investigators learned Gaskill had been on a date the night of the crash and was drinking with his date at a bar in downtown Indianapolis.
Police obtained texts between the woman and a friend after the crash.
Text messages between the two revealed the woman was not in the car at the time of the crash, but Gaskill tried to give her a ride.
NOTE: The texts erroneously say the driver was killed. Rashid Conteh, the deceased, was a passenger.
“I was so close to being in that car with him,” the woman texted to a friend. “I almost went against my gut instinct telling me not to be in the car with him bc I was afraid to make him mad.”
According to the texts, Gaskill FaceTimed the woman after the crash, and she saw “bodies on the road.”
“He was drunk as f***…the cops did not breathalyze him,” she texted.
Investigators also obtained a copy of the receipt from the bar Gaskill and the woman were at that night.
It shows eight drinks were bought that night, including three shots.
A bartender who happened to be friends with Gaskill told police the bar tab applied to drinks for himself, Gaskill, and Gaskill’s date.
According to his account, he joined Gaskill and his date after he was done with his shift, and one of the drinks was for Gaskill’s date. The bartender told investigators the Ketel One shot was “definitely” his and he “must have” drank the Blue Moon as well.
Court documents show the trio agreed to meet up at the bartender’s house, and the bartender told Gaskill’s date to ride with him because it was a “possibility” Gaskill could be intoxicated.
Grand jury questioning
The date and the bartender were questioned before a grand jury in November, and the woman said she and Gaskill were currently dating.
During the questioning, she said there was no conversation about who she should ride with. She claimed she went with the bartender because Gaskill was already in his car.
She said Gaskill was following them when he “randomly turned.” They checked the location of Gaskill’s phone and then found him at the crash site. She claimed Gaskill was eventually let go at the scene, and they all went to the bartender’s house together.
When questioned about the text chain where she said Gaskill was “drunk as f***”, the woman said she tends to overexaggerate.
Upon further questioning, she said she was “slightly” concerned Gaskill was drunk.
“She eventually admitted to the Grand Jury she did not ride with Connor Gaskill ‘because
he might have actually been drunk,'” alleged the amended affidavit.
Witnesses to the crash and aftermath
Police spoke with several people who saw the crash or came upon the crash site before officers arrived.
One man told police he tried to help Gaskill and told police he “looked intoxicated.”
The man believed Gaskill may have been under the influence of marijuana due to his “slow speech” and “extremely low eyelids.”
According to the man, Gaskill seemed unfazed and like “he didn’t care about the other people” [involved in the crash] and lacked empathy and emotion.
The family of Rashid Conteh filed a civil suit against Connor Gaskill for negligence and compensatory damages. They also claimed Gaskill did not receive any type of chemical or breath test following the crash.
According to The Herald Bulletin, Gaskill is the son of an Anderson police officer.
Originally, the prosecutor’s office sought a greater than standard bond for Gaskill because he was not a Marion County resident, had a history of traffic infractions, and was involved in another fatal accident when he was 16, according to The Herald Bulletin.
Gaskill has a pretrial conference set for January 10, 2023.