Family of pastor killed in high speed crash ask why driver only got speeding ticket
The family of an Illinois pastor who died in a high-speed car crash is asking why police and prosecutors have charged the accused with speeding and not reckless homicide.
Pastor Neely Dotson died in a crash on Lincoln Highway near Interstate 57 in May, and his family has learned that police in suburban Matteson and prosecutors are charging the accused, who has not been named, with speeding, according to NBC 5.
“How can (one) kill someone and get off with a speeding ticket? It just does not make sense,” the pastor’s daughter, Neeketta Reed, was quoted as saying.
The Toyota that hit the pastor’s car was going more than 70 miles per hour. The speed limit was 45.
The network said the family has police reports that show the accused smelled of alcohol and marijuana, and refused to provide a blood and urine sample at the hospital.
“I have never heard of anyone who has been able to not take a breathalyzer if a police officer smelled the alcohol,” Reed told the network. “That is grounds for arrest right there. I am hurt, mad … all these feelings. I want the facts.”
Matteson Police say they made the decision to charge the accused with speeding after seeking advice from the State’s Attorney’s Office.
“Speed alone cannot be used to fulfill the requirements for the offense of reckless homicide,” Matteson Police said in a statement to the network.
However, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office told NBC 5 that police did not ask for a review of felony charges, saying, “The police direct filed misdemeanor and traffic offenses that are pending in court at this time.”
Dotson was 87 when he died.
“Granddad you are truly missed,” wrote one of the pastor’s grandchildren, Joy Foreman, at the time of the funeral. “There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. I will always love you. Thank you for everything that you've done for us.”
In 1973, Dotson founded True Way Apostolic Faith Church, according to his obituary, which adds he later founded Christ Way Apostolic and The Straight Way Apostolic Faith Church.