Accident Raises Concern About Police Pursuit - - The News for South Mississippi

Accident Raises Concern About Police Pursuit

"I can't even recognize my own car. It's sad," said Robert Brown from his hospital bed Monday afternoon.

Brown considers himself lucky. A concussion left him with limited recollection about the Honda Accord that slammed head on into his Crown Vic.

"He just kept going and he slid around. It was too late to do anything. Bam. He smashed us. And the last thing I remember, I woke up in the emergency room downstairs," he recalled.

"My daughter was back here in the car seat. And my friend was in the passenger's. And I was driving," Brown explained, pointing to photos of his wrecked Crown Victoria.

He remembers coming to and worrying about his baby.

"That's the only thing I was worried about when I came in the emergency room. I was like, 'Where's my baby at?' And they were like, 'She's all right. She's all right.'"

"I was bleeding before I knew it," said Freddie Barber, who was a front seat passenger in Brown's car.

Barber has clear recollections of the crash. He says the other driver, Joshua Abshsire, was being pursued by police when he ran through the intersection and slammed into Brown's car.

"The cop was pretty close to him. He was catching up to him. The lights was on, siren was going," said Barber.

A police spokesman says the officer involved was running stationary radar on Woolmarket Road. The speeding suspect passed by doing 54 in a 35.

"The officer turned on his blue lights to indicate the vehicle needed to slow down. The vehicle sped up instead. The officer did a U-turn. The driver, Mr. Abshire, ran the stop sign at Woolmarket, turning right, went into the opposite lane and hit another vehicle head on,"  said Biloxi police Sgt. Jackie Rhodes.

One of the charges pending against the driver who caused the accident is "felony fleeing." Sgt. Rhodes says that charge is not based on any police pursuit, but on statements from the driver himself who admits he was trying to elude the officer.

Robert Brown counts his blessings it wasn't worse.

"I don't see how we made it out of that," he said, shaking his hurting head.

Brown was released from the hospital Monday afternoon. The other driver remains in Biloxi Regional.

Along with the felony fleeing charge, Joshua Abshire faces a variety of traffic ciations, including driving without a license.

By Steve Phillips

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