ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis-area family is mourning the loss of four relatives killed in a crash over the Mother’s Day weekend after a stolen SUV eluding police slammed into their vehicle. Three children were critically injured in the collision as well.
A make-shift memorial filled with flowers and teddy bears stands in the 4200 block of Delmar Boulevard in west St. Louis, where the crash happened around 9:00 p.m. Friday.
Police said suspects in a stolen Jeep were trying to elude police at a high rate of speed and eventually hit a mini-van carrying seven family members.
Aaron Piggee lost his mother, sister, and two uncles in the crash. His 15-year-old daughter and nieces were injured. Piggee said someone needs to be held accountable.
“I don’t think no family would even be able to bear that, losing four family members at once,” said Piggee. “For this just to happen, for them to not even make it home, this hurts for everyone. This hits home. They should be here.”
Those who died in the crash were Piggee’s mom, 56-year-old Angelique Simmons; his sister, 34- year old Rhonda Simmons; and his two uncles, 47-year-old Ephraim Simmons and 43-year-old Luther Simmons.
“I have to stay strong for my mom because that’s what she would want me to do, stay strong for the family. And that’s what I’m trying to do the best that I can,” Piggee said.
Before the crash, a license-plate recognition system picked up the plate as stolen and wanted in connection with multiple crimes. Police said someone in the Jeep had also fired shots at another car earlier Friday.
Daniel Isom, the city’s public safety director, did not call the incident leading up to the crash a police pursuit, though officers deployed spike strips to stop the speeding SUV.
“We don’t have any information that the officers were pursuing the vehicle, but they did try to deploy spike strips to stop the vehicle,” said Isom. “We try and pull people over who are wanted for crimes and even when you’re attempting to do that, cars may flee just for the simple fact you’re trying to pull them over.”
“As far as police pursuits are concerned, most police departments try to restrict vehicle pursuits to the most serious incidents,” Isom added.
Police arrested two 17-year-olds but are still searching for the Jeep’s driver.
“We don’t want this to be a slap on the wrist, and that’s it,” said Piggee. “Someone had committed a crime, and they should face the consequences.”