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'We're going to fight like hell': Family raises questions about investigation into deadly crash

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Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 14:56:17-04

INDIANAPOLIS – A family has more questions than answers after their son was killed in a crash they say Indianapolis police failed to investigate properly.

The family of Rashid Conteh said they want the person responsible for his death to be held accountable.

Rashid Conteh’s family is devastated and heartbroken over the loss of the 22-year-old who they call the “heart” of their family.

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

Conteh was killed in a deadly crash at East 24th Street and North Delaware Street in the early morning hours of Sept. 29.

His family believes IMPD failed him by not properly investigating the crash or immediately holding the person they believe was responsible accountable.

Rashid, and his older brother Nelson, were in a Lyft on their way home from a concert downtown when another driver allegedly ran a stop sign slamming into their ride.

Nelson said after getting himself out he dragged his brother out of the smoking car.

“I'm screaming my head off and I'm saying, ‘Rashid keep awake, keep awake,’ you know just like hitting him just making sure and he's like kind of in and out,” Nelson said.

Nelson said his brother was rushed to Eskenazi Hospital where he died not long after arriving.

On Oct. 7, Rashid Swaray Conteh was laid to rest.

The family says although the mourning will last forever, they’re preparing for the battle they know they’ll face to get justice for his death.

“We want to make sure that there's justice in in his killing and make sure the person responsible for his death is held accountable,” Beth Pope, his mom, said.

The family believes IMPD made several mistakes in their investigation of the crash.

“What we've learned is they, the police, didn't do what they were supposed to do by law at the scene,” Pope said.

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.”

“It is the mistakes that were made, you know, we cannot correct them now. They cannot be corrected, and somebody should have consequences for that,” Pope said.

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.”

On top of that, Rashid’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,” Swaray Conteh, Rashid’s father, said.

Because of this, Rashid’s family said they fear the driver, with a criminal record that includes drug charges, will not be held accountable for his involvement in the deadly crash.

The Other Driver

Connor Gaskill, of Pendleton, was driving the car that slammed into them.

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

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

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

“We're furious. We're going to fight like hell, and you know we're going to make sure these people, you know, that they have to be accountable for the way they handled this” Nelson said.

We reached out to Connor via email and haven’t heard back.

“So, we are starting to think is this because he’s related to a police detective in Madison County? Is it because his uncle is a state representative? We don’t know. We don’t know how he went home,” Swaray said.

A spokesperson for Senate Republicans said Connor is a “distant cousin,” not a nephew, of State Sen. Mike Gaskill, R-District 26, and they haven’t been in contact “for over a year.”

“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,” Nelson said.

According to the 2014 story from the Herald Bulletin, Gaskill is the son of Madison County Detective Keith Gaskill.

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.

Rashid's Legacy

“Rashid was the heart of our family,” his mother told WRTV. “Rashid never met a stranger. He lit up the room with his smile.”

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

She says her son wanted to be a registered nurse and is originally from Sierra Leone.

In his honor, the family is working to create a health clinic in Sierra Leone - something they say is desperately needed in the community where they live.

The family has set up an account through Chase Bank to collect donations for the clinic. You can reach out for more information on how to donate by emailing rsc.memorial.foundation@gmail.com.

Rashid's mother shared the below story with WRTV's Kelsey Anderson, which she says is just one of many that show the type of person he was.

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