A 12-year-old girl died on Tuesday, nearly a month after she was hit by a Missouri police vehicle involved in a chase, reports say. The vehicle’s lights and sirens were not activated.
Just before 6 p.m. on Oct. 14, a 25-year-old officer in St. Louis County noticed a “suspicious person and vehicle” at an area gas station and tried to “make contact,” KMOV reported. The person drove off and the officer followed, ultimately discovering the vehicle’s license plates were not registered to that vehicle, according to the news outlet.
The officer chased the vehicle for a quarter mile, hitting a top speed of 59 mph, almost 30 miles over the speed limit, KTVI reported. The police vehicle’s lights and sirens were not activated when it hit 12-year-old Akeelah “Kee Kee” Jackson, who ran in front of the vehicle, police say, according to the news outlet. The officer stopped and called for help.
“All of a sudden I see a police car come out of nowhere, speeding, I guess it was a high-speed chase,” Anadia Phillips, the girl’s grandmother, told KSDK. “She got hit and she flew in the air and came back down.”
The collision caused Akeelah’s legs, wrists and pelvic bone to “shatter,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She also suffered a brain injury as well as internal bleeding, according to the newspaper.
“She was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Ashley Jackson, the girl’s cousin, told the newspaper. “That officer should be arrested. We need some type of justice. He didn’t even come up to apologize or anything.”
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released a statement last month offering sympathies to the family.
“Our department offers its thoughts and prayers to the family of the young female struck last night,” the statement said, according to KSDK.
An investigation is underway to determine if the officer deviated from department policy, KTVI reported.