Family of woman killed in crash with MS police officer demands answers

Family of woman killed in crash with Sardis police officer demands answers

SARDIS, MS (WMC) - The family of the Mid-South woman killed in a crash with a Sardis police officer is demanding answers.

The officer slammed into her car during a police chase Monday night while chasing a suspect on a motorcycle.

However, police have not confirmed why the officer was chasing the suspect.

That officer is at Regional Medical Center in critical condition, and Sardis Police Chief Steven McClarty said he will have surgery Wednesday.

The family of 32-year-old Ericka Hughes now wants to know why the officer was chasing someone on a motorcycle in the first place.

“That was my heart," said Ericka’s mother Rosie Hughes. "Me and her stay getting into it, but we didn’t stay arguing. She always said something funny or crazy thing to say.”

Surrounded by family, Rosie tried to make sense of it all on Tuesday.

"Now I have four children I got to raise,” Rosie said.

Rosie said her daughter did everything for her kids.

“She was a hard worker,” Rosie said. “She pulled two jobs.”

Investigators said Ericka died when the office crashed into her car on Highway 315, about a half mile west of I-55.

“Ericka was a nice girl,” said friend Eric Fondren. “Like I said, she had a lot of friends around here. Everybody knew her well.”

Investigators have not named the officer involved in the crash.

Chief McClarty said the officer has been with the department for about two years and is in his late-20s or early-30s.

Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said the officer was chasing a suspect on a motorcycle when he slammed into her car around 8 p.m.

"I seen the motorcycle when it came through the hood, but I didn't know the police was going to get behind the motorcycle,” said Ronregus Lamar, Ericka’s brother.

Lamar said eight years ago, Ericka lost one of her own children in a car crash.

"I didn’t ever think it was going to be her so when I made it out there I seen them put a white sheet over the car and it was over with,” Lamar said.

Ericka Hughes (Source: Family)
Ericka Hughes (Source: Family)

Now, Ericka’s family holds on to memories while they wait for answers as to why that officer was chasing a suspect.

"You could have killed more than her,” Rosie said. “You could have hit somebody else."

Mississippi Highway Patrol is handling this investigation.

WMC5 asked the Sardis police chief for a copy of the departments chase policy, and they are working on getting that for us.

Chief McClarty would not say why the officer was chasing the motorcycle but that all officers wear body cameras and have dash cams in their cars.

Chief McClarty said he believes there is footage of this crash.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol says it’ll be reconstructing the crash to better understand what happened Monday night.

At last check, the person who was being chased on the motorcycle has not been caught.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.