Crash Victim's Family Responds To Charges Against OCPD Officer
OKLAHOMA CITY - Court officials said an Oklahoma City police officer faces criminal charges for driving too fast and crashing into and killing a 79-year old woman. Officer Bryant Holloway was charged with negligent homicide, a misdemeanor.
According to the court documents, Officer Holloway was trying to chase down a speeder and was going 78 miles per hour 150th Street near May Avenue without lights and siren. The speed limit was posted at 40 miles per hour.
The accident happened as Marinan Reese was trying to make a left hand turn out of her neighborhood. The probable cause affidavit said Officer Holloway hit his brakes but was still going about 60 miles per hour at impact. Reece, whose son describes as a hardworking, dedicated member of her church and the Sooners, died.
“Both the officer and the OCPD need to be held accountable, but there's no malice there or anything from our side,” said Reece's son, Steve. “We feel like this whole thing is part of God's overall plan in regards to my mom and her legacy.”
According to the court documents, Ms. Reese's view was obstructed by that hill so she couldn't see Officer Holloway coming.
“My opinion is he was going too fast,” said Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty. “Officers have to go at a speed that still keeps the public safe.”
Chief Bill Citty said state law allows for officers to drive above the speed limit without lights and siren and so does department policy.
“If you turn the lights and siren on a lot of individuals will turn and try and hide from the officers if they're far enough away,” explained Citty.
However, Chief Citty said the department is looking at making that policy more restrictive.
“We've looked at speeds, we've had to discipline some officers for excessive speeds in certain circumstances and so we feel like there's enough of an issue there and a problem we're going to have to be a little more definitive in guiding our officers as to what their speeds will be in certain circumstances.”
Reese's family however, said they're comfortable where their mom is now and just hope some good will come from this for Officer Holloway.
“Maybe it could be a positive in his life somehow, that this accident draws him closer to his family or the Lord and that's what my mother would have wanted.”
Officer Holloway has been on administrative leave since the accident.