Family of crash victim seeks justice, law enforcement makes a decision


ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) – More than two months after a 22-year-old was killed in a crash on I-69 in Steuben County, her family is still looking for justice.

Kyle Gruner lost his daughter Alyssa in November. Since then, he said he’s been getting the run around from the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.

On January 10, Sheriff Tim Troyer sent Gruner an email saying the department had not gotten a statement from the man police say caused the wreck that killed Alyssa, Roman Leon. Five days before that Gruner got a letter from Prosecutor Jeremy Musser saying that after an extensive investigation, no citation or criminal charges would be issued.

“For that extensive investigation not to involve talking to the driver involved in the wreck I can think of a lot better term for that investigation than extensive,” Gruner said.

“We have [talked to Leon] since then,” Troyer said.

Troyer said investigators were able to get a statement from Leon last week. In it, Leon said he was going maybe one or two miles over the 70 miles per hour speed limit when he hit black ice causing the wreck. That’s also what he told Gruner’s legal counsel when they talked to him on December 27.

“He admitted he was going over the speed limit,” Gruner said. “Not a lot, but it was over the speed limit and it caused a fatality. We think code 9 applies.”

That code states a person may not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable.

“That in lies the issue,” Troyer said. “Is it unreasonable for the conditions?”

Troyer said it was raining that November evening, but witnesses said the road was not slick.

“There were no accidents between U.S. 6 and SR 4,” Troyer said. “There were no police along the roadway that were working slide offs or anything like that. Witnesses even confirmed there were not indications the road was even slippery.”

But when Leon crossed a bridge, it did get slippery ending in the death of Alyssa.

“I think they consider it done,” Gruner said. “It will never be done for us unless they do the right thing.”

On Tuesday Gruner got another letter from Prosecutor Jeremy Musser late in the day responding to Gruner’s request for a ticket to be issued. Musser told NewsChannel 15 it is not his decision to issue tickets, but he would get involved if criminal charges were filed. Musser reviewed the investigation before and after Leon’s statement and decided not to file charges.

In the latest letter to Gruner, Musser wrote this case is not one for traffic court, but he could enter it into civil court.

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