FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s still difficult for Melanie Hooten-Davee to talk about the violent crash that killed her nine-year-old daughter Macie.
“My heart is broken,” she said. “Macie was the happiest kid you ever encountered. She never knew a stranger, and she literally always had a smile on her face – ever since she was a baby.”
She and her two daughters were driving home along State Highway 121 access road near Spring Creek on June 8 when their 2005 Dodge Stratus came to a stop in the center lane toward the top of a bridge.
The road has no shoulder and no safe place to go. Frisco police say a tow truck slammed into her from behind.
“The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital,” Hooten-Davee said.
An accident investigator hired by her attorneys estimate the truck was going 50 miles-per-hour. Macie was sitting behind her mother in the part of the car that took a direct hit. Her 12-year-old sister Dagny was sitting in the front.
“It’s been very traumatizing for all of us. She was the last person with Macie when she was alive, so she has definitely been hit very hard by this,” Hooten-Davee said.
Earlier this month, tow truck driver Reza Shyebem expressed sorrow for what happened. He said he didn’t see the car until it was too late.
“Because the car was in the center lane and completely stopped. No lights. No nothing. No city lights. No hazard lights,” he said.
But Hooten Davee insists “my lights were definitely on, and my hazards were engaged.”
Video supplied by her attorneys show that when police reconnected Hooten-Davee’s car battery, the headlights, tail lights and hazard lights were engaged.
“There was a lot of traffic. People saw us. I don’t understand. It doesn’t make any sense to me how everyone else saw us, but he didn’t,” she said. “I have to face the rest of my life without my daughter. I have to face knowing that I’ll never get to see her growing up – every single day for the rest of my life.”
Dallas-based Dadash Towing and the tow truck driver did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
Police said they won’t file charges against Shyebem because he wasn’t impaired or speeding, and he tried to get out of the way.
Hooten-Davee’s attorneys say they will file a claim with the towing firm’s insurance company, and – if necessary – file a lawsuit.