A young woman was taken into custody this morning for allegedly causing a car accident in the Rock Bridge High School parking lot early this morning, Nov. 6. Police are investigating the incident.
At 11:25 a.m., a silver Honda Accord hydroplaned, ran over a curb and crashed into a light post at the north lot of the high school. Police were dispatched to the scene at 11:30 a.m., and when they arrived, the driver was missing.
A teenage female passenger, Sally Rider, 17, was present at the scene. She had suffered a minor contusion to the forehead, and an inability to remember any details of the crash.
“All I remember is we were driving, and then there was a crash, and we weren’t driving any more, and now my left side hurts,” Rider said. “Betty Quick was driving; that’s all I know.”
RBHS senior Trisha Sharp witnessed the crash as she was walking through the parking lot to her car, rushed to the scene to help and alerted the authorities. She said she communicated with Rider and kept her calm until police arrived.
“I just heard the crash. I wasn’t really paying attention, but after I heard it I walked over. But I wasn’t really examining the car. I was more concerned with the passenger,” Sharp said. “She didn’t really remember much; she didn’t really know what happened. She knew her name, [but] she didn’t really remember anything.”
A young woman arrived at the scene shortly after police arrived. Her forehead covered in blood. She denied involvement in the crash but repeatedly asked about the passenger’s well being.
Investigators from the police department continued to examine the car in the parking lot, which sustained significant damage to its front, to find any evidence that could help to find the missing driver. The witness, Sharp, went on to say she had seen a woman fleeing the scene shortly after the accident.
“I was walking to my car, and then I heard [the crash] and so I turned around and then I called 911,” Sharp said. “When I first turned around and saw the crash, there was a girl … walking away from the driver’s side but I didn’t see any doors open or anything, I just saw her walking away.”
Police later discovered the woman across the street was indeed Betty Quick, the driver of the crashed vehicle. In a press conference later in the day, Col. Renata Williams from the police department said Quick was taken into custody for precautionary measures, demanding her lawyer, though she has not yet been officially charged.
“We have reasonable suspicion [that] she was the driver, so we believe she might have done something wrong. So we just took her into custody to keep her with us so we can investigate and figure out if something was wrong,” Williams said. “We found a cell phone, so we are investigating further about maybe a texting during driving [incident. But we do not have for sure evidence right now about what happened.”
During the press conference, police claimed that there there was a possibility that texting while driving, as well as lack of seat belt protection, may have been factors involved in the incident. Police officer Lieutenant Eric Glennon stated that they had no reason to believe that alcohol or drug use was involved in the wreck.
Lt. Sam Crisman, another officer who was present on the scene of the accident, stated that neither the driver or the passenger suffered major injuries and were both examined by medical personnel.
The passenger “was evaluated by the EMT at the scene. I’m not at liability to see if there’s anything wrong with her because she is underage,” Crisman said. “The driver stated that she was fine. She was examined at the crime scene, and the EMT thoroughly examined her and she said that she was fine, and he agreed that he was fine. She had some trauma in the head.”
Police have notified the families of Quick and Rider and are holding the alleged driver in custody as they work to file charges against her. Neither teenager is a student at RBHS, so their presence on the high school campus is under investigation as well. Williams also said the vehicle involved in the crash was stolen from Arkansas, but could not elaborate on when the car was stolen or whether the owner has been notified.
“We’re going to examine our evidence and look through our diagrams and everything,” Williams said. “There’s police matters that go through that but just haven’t had time to do that right now.”
By Brittany Cornelison and Afsah Khan
Additional reporting by Anna Wright and Emily Franke[slideshow_deploy id='254750']
Notice: this is a portion of the Missouri Supreme Court Constitution Project and all facts and the event itself are fictional.
For an initial reaction to the crime scene, click here
For a look at the press conference, click here