Fatal Crash Witnesses Say MPD Car Was Speeding With No Lights Flashing
(Memphis) A Mid-South family is looking for answers, after two relatives were killed and two others critically injured when the car they were collided with a Memphis police squad car.
The accident happened at a three way intersection where Crump Blvd. meets Georgia Ave. and Walnut Street.
Police say the officer involved was on his way to a call, but eyewitnesses say there were no blue lights or siren on.
MPD has not released the officer’s name yet due to the investigation.
The police union says whether or not he violated policies by not having on lights and a siren blaring, depends on where he was going.
“I uttered to my daughter, I said he’s going to kill somebody because he had no sirens on. He had no lights and he was high tailing it,” said eyewitness Lisa Taylor Johnson.
Taylor Johnson was on her way from church in South Memphis, when she says the officer flew by her, “Before I could get anything else out, the impact happened.”
Dead in the accident are Deloise Epps and her boyfriend’s teenage daughter, Mackala Ross. Mackala’s father, Michael, is in extremely critical condition at The MED along with a family friend who was also in the car.
They were from Senatobia, MS and were heading back home.
“That’s my only aunt. We don’t know what’s going on,” said Epps’ niece, Latricia Murphy.
The family has many questions.
Memphis Police Association president Mike Williams says some of them may be answered by the black box computer located in all patrol cars, “I believe once it impacts, it locks in, or captures that last 15 or 30 seconds of what you have. So, it will give you the speed, direction, if there were any malfunctions in the car.”
Wiiliams says MPD policy requires officers en route to calls to have blue lights and sirens on, but there are exceptions, “It’s for the safety of a person that may be in a hostage situation. For bank robbers that are in the midst of robbing the bank. You want the officers to get there expeditiously and not be detected that they’re coming.”
Still, it’s hard for witnesses, like Taylor Johnson to understand, “How could you go so fast and not warn somebody. It was the officers fault. Plain and simple.”
MPD hasn’t said what kind of emergency call this was, and if he was justified for not having his lights and siren on.
They did tell us yesterday the officer had the green light.
The eyewitness says she was behind the officer and was certain it was red.
Meanwhile, relatives of the victims in that car are preparing for funerals and praying for a miracle the others recover.