Victim's family tries to understand circumstances behind crash - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Victim's family tries to understand circumstances behind fiery crash

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A family is demanding answers after their loved one died in a fiery crash.

It happened on Goebel Ave. and Foster St. near Shuman Elementary School early Sunday morning.

Family members say they want answers as to why Simmons sped away from police moments before the deadly accident after being approached by an officer while parked at the boat ramp near Islands Expressway. Family members of Tyrone Steven Simmons, 37,  try to support one another as they cope with the loss and try to understand why his life was taken so suddenly.

"When people say my daddy died, I wouldn't think it would be from a car crash," said Daughter Tywanika Jackson. "He was my daddy. He was daddy and I know how my daddy is, he wouldn't just do that. He was supposed to come home and he didn't come home. It's not his fault."

Simmons' passenger and high school friend, Jennifer McLaughlin, 30, was pulled from the burning wreckage by an officer that Simmons nearly hit. Police say moments before, Simmons sped away from another police officer who walked up to his Oldsmobile parked at the boat ramp on Islands Expressway to check to see if everything was alright. Police say they initially did not give chase because they did not suspect illegal activity.

"As far as him running and if they approached the car to him, he must have not identified who he was, because we had a cousin that died two weeks ago and he probably was scared at that time of morning. That is all we know," said Crystal Robinson, Simmons' sister.

Simmons' cousin, Roderich Richardson, was found shot to death after his vehicle crashed down the street from Derst Bakery. Richardson was on his way to work, but police have yet to determine if he was targeted or an innocent victim. 

"It's two deaths in one month and it is a lot for our family to bear," said Robinson. "We don't know why and we want answers."

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