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Vehicle occupants 'uncooperative' during hospital questioning

Cary Ashby • Apr 18, 2019 at 1:00 PM

A driver and his passenger are accused of being uncooperative when being interviewed after fleeing the scene of a one-vehicle, rollover injury crash Monday night on Ohio 61.

Armando Gonzalez Toral, 23, of Fremont, was charged with failure to control, operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), OVI refusal, driving under suspension and leaving the scene of an injury crash. The charges are in connection with the accident in the 2100 block of North Ohio 61 just after 10 p.m.

“He refused a breath test. He had a prior conviction for OVI, so there was an additional charge of refusing a test,” said Sgt. Brian Gockstetter, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, who investigated the crash.

The passenger was Victor Javier Navarro, 21, of Fremont.

“Victor was not charged with anything,” Gockstetter said.

However, troopers will forward a report to the Norwalk Law Director’s Office for the consideration of additional charges.

Gonzalez Toral was northbound on Ohio 61 when he went off the right side and hit a driveway culvert and mailbox, Gockstetter said. The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze then overturned several times and landed on its top.

Gockstetter was dispatched to the scene at 10:10 p.m. The trooper said when he was on the way, he was advised “the occupants had taken off on foot.”

Two Huron County sheriff’s deputies, the Norwalk Fire Department and North Central EMS also responded to the crash site.

Firefighters arrived at 10:06 p.m. and were there for 90 minutes. According to their report, the 12-man crew discovered “a car had rolled several times and was on its roof.”

Interstate Towing & Transport Specialist Inc. towed the Cruze from the scene.

“It sustained heavy rollover damage,” Gockstetter said.

Using lights and thermal imagery, firefighters assisted deputies in searching for Gonzalez Toral and Javier Navarro. Gockstetter said witnesses provided authorities with descriptions of the two men. 

Deputies located the two men by the bank near the road on Ohio 61 near Johnson Road. The location was about 1 1/2 miles from the crash site.

Upon being detained, the men reported being injured, sheriff’s Lt. Bill Duncan said, so the deputies handed them over to North Central and the patrol. 

“Both were severely injured,” added Gockstetter, referring to facial and head injuries. “They were then transported to Fisher-Titus (Medical Center) by North Central EMS.”

The trooper went to the hospital to interview the men.

“Both were uncooperative and refused to answer questions,” Gockstetter said. “They’re basically saying they don’t remember anything.”

Gonzalez Toral had the keys to the car in his possession, sustained injuries consistent with being the driver and the Cruze was registered to Gonzalez Toral’s brother, the trooper added. Gockstetter also said the driver and his passenger refused to say where they were coming from or what their ultimate destination was.

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