ST. LOUIS – A newly released 52-page police report confirms the city could have prevented tragedy.
It happened July 23, 2018 when a Mercury Sable struck a one-ton pylon, knocking the barrier off the bridge at Lindell and Union and onto Jan Torrisi Mokwa, who was driving underneath. Mokwa died instantly.
The driver above was 22-year-old Damaya Love, who always swore she was not speeding. She told us in October 2018, “I clearly remember being between the speed of 15 and 20.”
The St. Louis police investigative report confirms she “was not speeding” and “(she) did not make an illegal turn.”
Police conducted extensive crash tests to determine Love’s speed and found she could have been traveling as slowly as “14 mph.”
Tests also lead to investigators finding, “it would not take an extreme amount of force to dislodge the concrete block” because it was not properly connected to the bridge.
Fox 2 first reported many of these details last October, having exclusively obtained portions of the police investigation. However, the final report hasn’t been officially released. Police were still trying to confirm Love’s claim she was not on her phone.
Love told us in October, “(My phone) was in the cupholder the whole time. I only look at my phone for the GPS when I’m at a red light – that’s the only time.”
Police analyzed data from her phone and found no evidence she was using it at the time. It also took months to get results of blood tests. Those tests showed Love tested negative for drugs and alcohol.
On Friday, the bridge walls remain protected by barriers as the city works on a plan to replace the bridge.
The city reached a confidential settlement in November over a lawsuit brought by Torrisi Mokwa’s widower, former St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa.