Texas Man Found Dead With Neck Wound After Freak Car Crash Had Been Bitten by Dog Possibly Trying to Save Him

Site of crash that took place where a 70-year-old man died.
Hewitt Police Department

Initially, investigators suspected that Leon Peysen had been shot since he had a handgun beside him and a wound to the neck that looked like a gunshot wound, Hewitt police said. But that turned out to not be the case.

A Texas man who died in a freak car accident last week had been bitten by a dog before his death and had not suffered a gunshot wound as police originally suspected, according to a preliminary autopsy that was ordered by the Justice of the Peace, Fox44 News reported. 

The autopsy revealed that 70-year-old Leon Peysen died due to mechanical asphyxia and blunt force trauma, the Tribune-Herald reported.

The freak incident happened just before 9:45 a.m. on May 6 on Hewitt Drive. Investigators recovered security footage that shows Peysen pulling into a parking lot and rounding up three dogs. After placing the dogs in his vehicle, he started to slowly back out and then suddenly accelerated, officials said.

The video shows that his SUV struck a business' sign and flipped. Peysen fell out of the vehicle as it overturned and become trapped beneath the SUV.  

During the crash, two of the dogs ran off, and a third dog had its paw pinned by the vehicle, KWTX New10 reported.

When police arrived, the dog was found with blood on its mouth and was biting at the vehicle trying to break free. Peysen died at the scene, The Sacramento Bee reported. 

Initially, Hewitt police suspected that Peysen had been shot, since he had a handgun beside him and a wound to the neck that looked like a gunshot wound, Hewitt police told the Tribune-Herald.

But now authorities say the neck injury may have come from one of the dogs. Police don’t know why Peysen accelerated as he backed up. They also don’t know which of the three dogs bit him, why he was bitten, and whether the bite occurred before, during or after the SUV overturned, KWTX reported.

An official said one of the dogs may have bitten Peysen in an attempt to wake him up, the Tribune-Herald reported.

Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said the gun will likely be tested. 

Devlin also said that only one of the dogs belonged to Peysen. The other two belonged to neighbors.

A local animal advocate took the injured dog to a veterinary hospital. The dog was later returned to his family. 

Hewitt police are now working with the Woodway Public Safety Department to reconstruct the crash. Investigators are awaiting the final autopsy report, KWTX reported. 

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