“The accident was horrible. I had to be at the hospital and watch her suffer,” said her sister Jyotika Simmons.
Her injuries were catastrophic. A shattered leg, arm, contusion on the heart and her skull had been severed from her spine. She died less than 72 hours after the crash. The man responsible for the wreck was in his 40′s and his blood alcohol level showed he was drunk. He was released from the hospital and went home.
Nearly two years later, he has yet to be charged.
“Everybody is making excuses why he’s not in jail and I’m tired of the excuses,” said Vanessa’s sister Yvonne Saffold.
In a lengthy statement, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is blaming the hold up on missing information, COVID and incomplete police reports.
Simmons’ sisters are furious it has taken nearly two years.
“She was a DPD dispatcher, she worked for this city, she died in this city and this city has done nothing to bring the person who caused her death to justice.”
Read full statement from Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office below
“We anticipate a charging decision in Victim Vanessa Simmons case in the next week.
“When the warrant request was presented to us from the Michigan State Police they failed to follow the intake protocol and did not send it to our homicide unit in January 2020. When it was found it went to our homicide unit in February 2020. Unfortunately it was was missing important information. It did not have crime scene photographs, witness statements, or the crash investigation report. In March 2020, we received the crash investigation report.
“In March 2020, due to the pandemic there was a moratorium on not in custody cases. Our staff had to prioritize the large amount of cases that had time deadlines for making a charging decision for in custody defendants. Although that was in place, in May 2020, an assistant prosecutor worked on this case, did a preliminary review and advised MSP of the outstanding work that was needed the case. WCPO continued working on the case. In September 2020 there was an issue with locating several witnesses and in September and October 2020, we asked MSP to continue to try to locate witnesses and document their efforts.
“In November and December 2020, the family’s civil attorney contacted the prosecutor’s office and was given updates on the case. In January 2021 through April 2021, work was done regarding getting witness information in the case. In August and September 2021 MSP was notified that we are still working on the case.
“In October 2021, a determination is made that there is sufficient evidence to make a charging decision in the case. On October 19, 3021, WCPO was notified by WDIV has been contacted by a relative of the victim. An update was given to the sister of victim that a charging decision is imminent.
“A charging decision will be made and announced in the case next week. MSP for its part says once the investigative report had been turned over to the prosecutor the time frame for charging rests solely with the prosecutors office.”Wayne County Prosecutor's Office