Two charged after fatal Elkhart hit-and-run in August

(photo supplied / WNDU)

A husband and wife have been charged after three people from Elkhart were killed in a hit-and-run in August.

Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker announced Tuesday that charges were filed against 40-year-old Penelope Grosswiler and 42-year-old Leonard Grosswiler.

Penelope is specifically charged with six felony counts, including three for leaving the scene of an accident causing death and a charge of obstruction of justice. Leonard is charged with a single count of obstruction of justice, accused of trying to hide evidence of the crime.

11-year-old Courtney Smith, 22-year-old Shawn Wolcott, and 8-month-old Dolly Smith were killed when Penelope Grosswiler allegedly hit them as they walked near the intersection of East Beardsley Avenue and Cassopolis Street the night of Aug. 26.

Court documents say another victim was dragged about 150 feet after the vehicle hit him and four others before Penelope sped down the road and hit two other vehicles while she fled. The victim that was dragged suffered multiple broken bones and ligament damage to his left ankle. Another victim that survived suffered minor lacerations and contusions.

Court documents also say the victim that was dragged “bear hugged” the hood of the vehicle and saw that the driver as a woman with long dark hair.

Becker states that it’s believed Penelope was behind the wheel and then tried to hide evidence of the crime. She says witness statements were key in the investigation. Court documents say that a piece of the front grill with the GM part number molded on it was recovered nearby, identifying the vehicle as a Cadillac. Court documents also say that Leonard tried to leave the Cadillac under a tarp at a business days later “due to mechanical trouble.”

Becker says the evidence and charges reflect that Penelope was not driving drunk or impaired at the time.

Penelope faces 21.5 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Leonard faces about two years in prison if convicted.

Both Grosswilers are NOT in custody yet, and warrants have been issued for their arrest. It’s not known exactly where they are.