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Driver in deadly crash where family raised concerns over investigation charged with multiple felonies

24th and delaware crash
24th and delaware crash
Posted at 11:28 AM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 13:37:17-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A man has been charged with reckless homicide in connection to a fatal crash in September on the city's north side that led the victim's family to raise questions as to whether police properly investigated.

A court document alleges that Connor Gaskill caused the crash that killed Rashid Conteh by driving at 55 mph in a 30 mph zone and failed to stop at a stop sign, never applying his brakes, before t-boning a Lyft in which Rashid Conteh and two others were passengers.

On December 13, amended charges of Causing Death When Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, three counts of Causing Serious Bodily Injury When Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, Criminal Recklessness and three counts of Criminal Recklessness were filed.

Connor Gaskill, 24, is a "distant cousin" of State Sen. Mike Gaskill, R-District 26.

He is also the son of Anderson Police Officer Keith Gaskill and former Madison County Detective Keith Gaskill, according to the Herald-Bulletin.

A probable cause affidavit alleges that on Sept. 29, Connor Gaskill ran a stop sign at the intersection of East 24th and North Delaware streets and crashed into the Lyft, which Rashid Conteh, his brother and one other person were riding in.

There are signs beneath the stop signs in that area indicating that cross traffic does not stop, according to the affidavit.

Rashid Conteh was critically injured in the collision and transported to a local hospital, where he later died. An autopsy determined his cause of death was "multiple blunt force injuries resulting from an accident."

Nelson Conteh, Rashid Conteh's brother, the other passenger and the driver of the Lyft were also injured.

The affidavit states that Connor Gaskill told an officer he "did not remember how the accident happened" and initially claimed the Lyft had turned in front of him on East 24th Street. When questioned further, "he stated he couldn't give an honest answer about how the crash occurred."

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It continues, "After providing his information, a statement and cursory check by paramedics, Connor Gaskill walked from the collision area."

Additionally in the affidavit, Gaskill's eyes were observed to be glassy by officers.

He was reportedly drinking with his girlfriend and a friend in downtown Indy, but left without them as they would not ride with him because of his level of intoxication.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has requested that the court set bond at higher-than-standard amount.

In a motion, prosecutors listed the following factors as support for why Connor Gaskill's bond should be set at a greater amount:

  • He is not a Marion County resident.
  • He allegedly committed the offense with a deadly weapon, in this case, a vehicle.
  • He allegedly injured three other people in addition to killing Rashid Conteh.
  • He allegedly has a history of traffic infractions and was previously involved in a fatal crash.

"Additionally, (Connor Gaskill) poses a risk to the physical safety of another person or the community," the motion states.

A judge granted that request and set bond at $40,000 surety. It was paid on Oct. 22, the day after Connor Gaskill was booked into Marion County Jail.

Michael Leffler, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office, said Connor Gaskill will be placed on home detention.

Rashid Conteh's family provided the following statement to WRTV:

"The family of Rashid Conteh thanks the prosecutors for their efforts. We know Connor Gaskill would have been charged with more serious offenses at the outset if not for the incompetence, ineffectiveness and/or corruption of the IMPD officers who initially investigated at the scene of the accident. Rashid deserves justice to the fullest extent possible."

In later October, civil complaints were filed against Gaskill by Rashid Conteh's family against Connor Gaskill and against Gaskill and the Lyft driver by a third passenger in the Lyft.

The civil complaint against Gaskill by Rashid Conteh's family alleges negligence on Gaskill's part and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

The other complaint, in which the Lyft driver is a defendant, alleges negligence by him and Gaskill as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress by Gaskill. It seeks punitive damages against Gaskill.

Call for Accountability

Rashid Conteh's family has said they believe IMPD did not properly investigate the crash or immediately hold accountable Connor Gaskill, who they believe was responsible.

According to the crash report filed by an IMPD officer, no field sobriety tests were done on the driver that slammed into the Lyft.

Indiana Code 9-30-7-3 states:

“A law enforcement officer shall offer a portable breath test or chemical test to any person who the officer has reason to believe operated a vehicle that was involved in a fatal accident or an accident involving serious bodily injury.”

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In a statement, IMPD said the department’s fatal crash team is still investigating the crash and conducting an internal investigation.

“Additionally, IMPD is currently conducting an internal investigation into the initial response and the actions of the officers who responded to the scene to ensure proper procedures were followed,” the emailed statement read. “IMPD remains committed to transparency and accountability as it serves the community.”

Rashid Conteh's family claims even minor details were missed during the initial investigation.

“He could not even spell my son’s name correctly. He did not even have the addresses correct with no attention to the details of the accident,” said Swaray Conteh, Rashid Conteh's father.

Rashid Swaray Conteh was killed in a deadly crash in on September 29, 2022.

The Other Driver

The crash report states that Connor Gaskill was driving the car that slammed into Rashid Conteh and his brother.

In the official crash report, it states Connor Gaskill told police at the scene that he did not remember what happened before the crash.

Connor Gaskill was released from that scene and police records from that night do not show that he was ever tested for drugs or alcohol following the crash.

And this was not the first deadly crash for Connor Gaskill, who, according to a 2014 article by the Herald-Bulletin, was involved in a deadly accident when he was 16.

The article states that Connor Gaskill was “following too closely” when he rear-ended a car, sending it into oncoming traffic and causing a crash that killed a motorcyclist.

Connor Gaskill was cited with a Class C traffic infraction in that case.

“It's not the first time he's killed somebody and been at fault so it's just another one from me carry but this one, you know, that was my brother,” said Nelson Conteh.

WRTV reached out to Keith Gaskill via email.

He called WRTV and explained he knows what it’s like to lose a son and understands the questions that come with that. He went on to say he would caution anyone who would connect him or the Anderson Police Department to this investigation.

This story will be updated.