Parents ask for police action

By Mike McDaniel - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - When 13-year-old Hassie Sims of Hattiesburg was killed in May, the case became a death investigation, but no one was arrested, and police say there is a reason.

"It seems to me like it's just a big accident,' said Hattiesburg Police Captain Michael Shappley.

Shappley said the accident happened as a result of teenagers, for some reason, playing around on a vehicle. Hassie reportedly was holding on to the hood of a car while it was moving, and when it was stopped, she was thrown off. He skull was crushed.

Now, the 8th grader's mother, Patricia Sims is criticizing the police department for not doing a thorough investigation. When asked if Sims felt the case was being ignored, her answer was short and direct. "Yes, I do," said Sims.

Sims said the 17-year-old driver of the vehicle, who police did not charge, left the scene, and it was other witnesses who called police.

Sims added the cause of her death may have been an accident, but there's more to look into.

"In a way I do [feel like it's an accident], and in a way I feel like it's his fault too," said Sims, "because he had more choices he could have made instead of taking off with her on that car."

The ordeal started in the 300 block of Blowing Street. She was driven just more than one tenth of a mile, about 600 feet, when the driver hit the brakes.

"That's when she slide off the car head first," said Sims, "she had a crushed skull, crushed chest bones and a broken ankle."

Sims said she has been trying to get any information she can from the police department, but no one would return her calls.

Police officials said they are not ruling anything out , and the case is being handed over to the District Attorney's Office where it will be presented to a grand jury.

"Our hearts at the police department go out to the family, and I'm sure they're having a hard time dealing with this," said Shappley. "It's unfortunate, but I want to let them know we do work hard, and we put the time in on this case as we do all cases."

In the meantime, medical bills from the accident are piling in. About $80,000 worth so far, and Sims said insurance refuses to pay until the police department provides reports, reports she said are missing facts about exactly what happened.

"They're billing me," Sims said.

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