Family of woman struck and killed by taxi searching for answers after driver set free

Each day, countless people cross a dangerous section of Natural Bridge Avenue. It has no crosswalks anywhere nearby a...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 12:42 PM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 12:42 PM

Each day, countless people cross a dangerous section of Natural Bridge Avenue. It has no crosswalks anywhere nearby and has little lighting at night.

It's a recipe which led to the death of a 27-year-old woman just trying to walk home.

"By the time we got to the hospital they had already shaved off a side of her head and she was not responsive," Cynthia Holmes remembered about the night her cousin Christine Hammonds died.

Holmes was the first person to see her cousin in the emergency room after she was struck by a taxi cab while trying to walk home on a rainy night last October.

After spending three days on life support, Hammonds was pronounced dead.

"Everybody keeps telling me that it will be OK, or she's in a better place, but I don't feel like that because there was nothing wrong with her here," said Hammonds' best friend Sausha Washington.

A memorial sits feet from where the deadly crash occurred along Natural Bridge near the airport.

The driver, Adam Ahmed, was behind the wheel of a white St. Louis airport taxi van when Washington says he hit Hammonds.

"Somebody needs to be held accountable for what happened because it's not OK," Washington said.

According to the Berkeley Police Department report, a witness told officers a taxi drove past with its headlights off and seconds later, a body was laying in the roadway.

The report later states Ahmed left the accident scene in his taxi. Despite this, Ahmed has since been set free and recently left the country.

"Why would you allow a man who has clearly murdered a person to continue to drive on your streets?" Washington asked.

News 4 reached out to Berkeley police to find out if Ahmed was ever questioned further and if any nearby surveillance footage was pulled or crash reconstruction was conducted since the initial report.

We were told the officer who handled the case won't return to work until Friday.

"I feel like if Mr. Ahmed isn't held accountable then Berkeley PD should be held accountable because they didn't do anything," Washington said.

As loved ones move to hire a lawyer, Hammonds' cousin Cynthia Holmes urges people to make the most of their life.

"Never count a day out. Do everything and see everything you want to do each and every day because you never know if you're going to get another chance to," she said.

The owner of St. Louis Airport Taxi says Ahmed is no longer with his company and has returned to his home country of Somalia.

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Dense fog has developed across parts of northern California Monday morning and the potential for light showers will return today. We'll dry out and warm up on Tuesday, but more cool and wet weather is expected mid week. A more substantial wet system is currently projected to move into our region this weekend.
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