Suspect in Route 28 death has long history of ignoring vehicle registration, license laws, records show
The man Allegheny County police say is responsible for a fatal accident on Route 28 has a history of disregarding license and vehicle registration laws, records from several states show.
Police charged Eric Gonzalez-Huerta, 23, of Louisville with four criminal counts stemming from the accident Friday in Shaler that killed Robert Lofink, 75, of Hampton. Police said Gonzalez-Huerta, an illegal immigrant, was hauling a utility trailer when a wheel popped off, bounced over the median and slammed through the windshield of Lofink’s vehicle.
Gonzalez-Huerta obtained a New Mexico driver’s license in 2010, but it was suspended in 2012 when investigators determined he fraudulently obtained the license because he didn’t reside there, said S.U. Mahesh, spokesman for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, which issues licenses in the state.
“Current New Mexico law allows issuance of driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants if they meet residency requirements,” Mahesh said.
Kentucky transportation officials said Gonzalez-Huerta was cited three times for driving without a license, with one citation, including failing to have insurance, according to Lisa Tolliver, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman. The trailer involved in the accident was registered in Kentucky, she said.
“The trailer is not required to be inspected,” Tolliver said.
Allegheny County officials said he had neither a proper license nor insurance.
Gonzalez-Huerta’s truck, a white Ford F-450, had an expired North Carolina registration from 2012, North Carolina officials told the Trib this week.
Allegheny County police said they notified the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency of the arrest, but how much the agency knew of Gonzalez-Huerta is unclear. A spokeswoman said the agency is investigating but said the agency couldn’t confirm Gonzalez-Huerta is in the country illegally.
Police have not identified the company that Gonzalez-Huerta was working for when he was hauling construction debris from a Ford City site but told the Trib the company was part of the investigation.
He remains in the Allegheny County Jail on $250,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 2.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or [email protected].