The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi released video footage of a K-9 vehicle striking a 7-year-old girl on a bike to show that the incident was an accident.
According to local reports, the girl’s injuries are not life-threatening. Sabrina Nixon, the mother of the girl, accused the deputy of speeding while hitting the girl, reports said.
But Sheriff Ricky Adam disputed the claim, releasing footage of the incident on Aug. 24.
“It is my opinion that once the public sees the video, it will be agreed by most that this accident was not only unavoidable by my deputy, but the statements made about speeding, leaving skid marks and having to be flagged down are utterly false,” Adam said in a statement. He said the video was released “in light of multiple inaccurate statements” made about the Aug. 22 incident.
In the footage, the deputy vehicle can be seen going less than 20 mph when the girl appears to dash out in front of his bumper. Then, he appears to hit the girl and stops the vehicle. The sheriff noted that the posted speed limit on that road is 25 mph.
“The patrol unit that was involved in the accident is equipped with an in-car camera system. This camera system is wired into the vehicle’s computer system, which documents factors such as vehicle speed, brake use, use of turn signals and more. This system shows my deputy was traveling at a rate of 17 to 19 mph in a 25 mph speed zone at the time the child’s bike ran into the side of the patrol vehicle,” he said. “In addition, there was no rapid application of breaks, which would cause skid marks. Finally, the vehicle came to rest approximately one car length from the injured child’s bicycle, obviously indicating that he stopped immediately upon the child coming into contact with his vehicle.”
“There was nothing anybody could do about it,” Adam said. “It was completely unavoidable.”
Adam said the vehicle hit the front tire of the girl’s bike.
“Even the witness said that when she hit the ground, the tire of the bicycle spun her around and the back tire (of the bicycle) rolled over her long hair,” he said. “She was up walking around after it happened.”
“The video clearly shows he was under the speed limit and it clearly shows she came up from behind a truck parked at the end of their house,” Adam added.
Nixon said the deputy identified himself as Colin Freeman, and he got out of his car and asked if the girl was fine. He then called 911, according to the Sun-Herald.
Adam said that he normally does not comment on a case that is being investigated, but he stated that he was forced to issue a comment over the “false statements” that had been circulating.
“When my deputies are rightful in their actions, I will fully defend them, rising above the exploitation of social media sensationalism,” Adam noted.
Accident a Reminder to Parents
Meanwhile, the accident shows that “we must remain diligent in our supervision of our children,” he said.
“This same diligence should be had when our children are swimming, near flames at cookouts, or there are firearms in a home. Many children experience injuries, minor and major, from incidents that could have been avoided with proper parental supervision. We are all very blessed that this incident did not have a more disastrous outcome.