Family of Man Who Allegedly Hit Migrants: It Was an Accident

North Carolina man suspected of driving into group has turned himself in
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2023 6:44 AM CDT
Updated Aug 1, 2023 12:01 AM CDT
Cops: Driver Intentionally Slammed Into Migrant Workers
Photo of the fleeing vehicle.   (Facebook/Lincolnton Police Department)
UPDATE Aug 1, 2023 12:01 AM CDT

The North Carolina man accused of plowing into a group of migrant workers with his SUV turned himself into police Monday, the day after the incident in front of a Walmart left six men injured. Police originally said the crash was believed to have been intentional, but family members told police that suspect David Gonzalez, 68, was trying to park his vehicle when he accidentally hit the gas pedal and then panicked and fled, the AP reports. Police now say the incident remains under investigation. Gonzalez has been charged with felony hit-and-run. All of the injured men have been released from the hospital.

Jul 31, 2023 6:44 AM CDT

A driver who slammed his SUV into a group of migrant workers outside of a North Carolina Walmart over the weekend did so on purpose, local police now say. Per a Lincolnton Police Department statement cited by NPR, the incident took place around 1:20pm on Sunday in Lincolnton, "in what appears to be an intentional assault with a vehicle." The officials note that six of the workers suffered "various injuries" and were taken to a nearby hospital, though none of the injuries seem to be life-threatening.

Police say the driver of the SUV, described as an older white male, fled the scene afterward in "an older model mid-size black Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) with a luggage rack." NBC News notes it's not clear where the migrants are from, and that authorities haven't deemed the incident a hate crime, though an investigation is still underway. Anyone who may have witnessed the attack or otherwise has information about it are asked to call Lincolnton police at 704-736-8900. (Read more North Carolina stories.)

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