ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION: Family Of Victim Angry

Friends and family of a What Cheer woman who was killed last month are furious over a State Patrol investigation into the death.

Every day when Courtney Thompson walks out of the front door of her home in What Cheer, she’s reminded of the night her best friend was killed.  “We heard a thud and there she went flying and up this way and landed right there in front of that fire hydrant” Thompson recalls. 

Witnesses say 15-year old Adam Gragg was speeding down this residential street when he hit 37-year old Christine Smith while she was walking to Thompson’s house.   After she was hit, witnesses say Gragg just took off.  Now, a month and a half after the deadly accident, State Patrol investigators are recommending Gragg be charged with a license violation, not with leaving the scene of an accident. 

The investigating officer says after Gragg hit Smith, he drove a few blocks to the fire station to get help.  The officer says Gragg figured that would be faster than stopping to call for help, and added that Gragg is just 15-years old and wasn’t thinking straight. Thompson says that’s no excuse.

“Pick up the phone and call 911.” she says, “How easy is that? That’s what we had to do when she got killed.”

Keokuk County Attorney John Schroeder says the investigators recommendations are just that…recommendations.  “Certainly there would be some kind of an offense filed with respect to violating the limited license he had.” Schroeder says, “And there’s some consideration being given to leaving the scene of an accident.”

Schroedwer plans to meet with the investigator next week to go over his findings.

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