ST. LOUIS – In late July Jan Torissi-Mokwa, wife of former police chief Joe Mokwa, died as she was driving on Forest Park Parkway. A one-ton bridge pylon fell on her after being hit by a driver above her on the Lindell and Union bridge.
The driver at the center of the tragedy was a 22-year-old unlicensed and uninsured driver - Damaya Love. She said she wasn't speeding that day. A police report backs her up. She does say she was inexperienced and was working on her turns.
Love said she was making a right turn and overcorrected. She said she was shocked to see part of the bridge wall fall. She prayed no one was below. She said she only found out hours later that someone died.
She said, “I freaked out terribly because once I learned that I was ok you know instantly I started screaming because I knew there were other people involved I knew somebody had to have gotten hurt.”
Only Fox 2 has possession of a police report showing St. Louis Police conducted crash tests that determined she was traveling between 14-28 mph and that the bridge rail she hit was not secured. Love said she cannot get that day out of her head. She said, “Even though it was an accident, knowing that somebody died because of that and I was behind the wheel of a car, that you know most likely they`re going to say was at fault? That is really scary to deal with and I felt like you know to honor that person, I`m just not going to drive anymore.”
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney is now considering criminal charges against Love for being unlicensed and uninsured. She only had her permit.
Monday at 10pm, we’ll dig deeper into the bridge investigation – in a police report only in the possession of Fox 2.