Center City Crash That Took Artist’s Life Was Fueled By Booze And Speed
According to police reports, the crash that killed a 22-year-old woman and severely injured another at 11th and Market Streets in November was fueled by speed and booze.
The incident was caused by 47-year-old David Gonzalez of Rhawnhurst who was driving his pickup truck while drunk at a speed of at least 59 mph.
Court papers allege in an affidavit of probable cause that Gonzalez’s blood alcohol concentration level was recorded at 0.10 percent shortly after the crash that took place on 13 November at around 2:19 a.m. This was well over the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent. Skid marks were also visible on Market Street and one of the victims was found lying more than 130 feet from the point of impact.
According to the affidavit, the speed limit on Market near 11th Street is 25 mph, but Gonzalez’s minimum speed was 59 mph.
Gonzalez, of the 2300 block of Shelmire Street, surrendered to police last week. Philadelphia Police charged him with homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, DUI, and related offenses, Tuesday. He was released from police custody after posting bail. It is not yet known if he has a lawyer. Attempts made to reach him Tuesday for comments were not successful.
The 22-year-old victim in the crash was identified as Anna Gonzalez who died two days after the crash due to her injuries. She was not related to David Gonzalez.
Another victim in the incident, identified as 22-year-old Catherine Cardoza, was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital in critical condition. However, she was treated and later released. Her family could not be reached for comments. Both victims were struck in the crosswalk on the east side of Market Street. They were both walking northbound across Market, crossing against the green traffic signal.
The affidavit said that the women were about to reach the crosswalk when David Gonzalez hit the brakes of his 2015 Dodge Ram pickup truck. Given how fast everything took place, the speed and condition suggested that the driver was speeding. Any sober driver would have taken 300 feet to stop. Gonzalez failed to stop and ran over Anna Gonzalez. His car then struck Cardoza who was thrown 130 feet away upon impact. The affidavit stated that security camera footage of the crash did not capture where she came to rest.
According to Ervin Cardoza, Cardoza’s brother, his sister and Anna Gonzalez were leaving the Lucky Strike bowling alley at 1336 Chestnut St. before the accident took place. They were on their way to meet him and his mother who were waiting to get a ride home. According to Ervin Cardoza, he and his sister both worked at the lanes. He also said that his sister was a mother of three. She was an artist who was saving to attend college.
After the crash, David Gonzalez remained at the scene that night. He also submitted to a blood test. However, it is not clear why the decision to charge him took nearly two months.
Statistics released by the Medical Examiner’s Office state that a total of 46 pedestrians were killed in auto-pedestrian crashes in Philadelphia in 2016.