UPDATED – HCSO: Several injured when car crashes into party tent


On Sunday, Sept. 17, Mateo Torres-Garcia, 23, of Gainesville, was arrested on a list of charges after he crashed his vehicle into a fence, a party tent and a power pole on Williams Street.  He also struck an unoccupied vehicle at that location.

A Hall County Sheriff’s Office traffic unit deputy was called to the scene just after 2 a.m. and found someone at the location detaining Torres-Garcia following the crash. The initial investigation determined the suspect had been attempting to run from the crash site after he hit the tent, where several people were having a party. There were injuries to some of the party-goers and a medical unit responded to assess the injuries. While all injuries appeared to be non-life threatening, HCSO does not have information at this time on the conditions of the victims.

Our deputy determined there was evidence Torres-Garcia was under the influence of alcohol. He was placed under arrest, transported to the hospital for assessment and then transported to the Hall County Jail for booking.

Charges filed by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, as listed on the booking report, are as follows:

  • Reckless driving – first offense
  • Open container violation
  • Striking a fixed object (unoccupied vehicle)
  • Leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run after striking party goers)
  • Failure to maintain lane
  • DUI
  • Driving while unlicensed or with license expired

(U P D A T E D EDITOR’S NOTE: Gainesville Police have also filed charges against Torres-Garcia who, spokesman Kevin Holbrook says, fled from officers on a traffic stop for minor traffic violations. “A BOLO was given out for the vehicle (and) later HCSO advised it was involved in a crash,” Lt. Holbrook added. “GPD took out warrants.”)