Woman declared dead, police admit mistake - WSMV Channel 4

Woman declared dead, police admit mistake

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A local family is outraged after police declared their daughter dead after a traffic accident, later finding she's still alive. 

"It hit my sister so hard," said Tommella Tucker, sister of victim, Regina Waters. "It knocked the shoes off her feet and knocked her jacket off of her."

"Every bone in her body is broken," said Waters' mother, Delisea Howse. "That's my baby. This is my baby."

A 30-year-old mother of three boys known to family as 'Gigi', metro police said Waters was crossing Rosa Parks Boulevard Friday night when she was struck by a car driven by 81-year-old Martha Ward.

Adding to the trauma for the family, a press statement by metro police claimed Waters died from her injuries, but in a call to Vanderbilt, the family found Waters was still alive in very critical condition.

"My mother has congestive heart failure," said Tucker. "When they told us she's gone, that was a hard blow."

According to metro police, a volunteer police chaplain claimed Waters had passed. While going to pick up the death certificate, a member of the fatal crash team found Waters was still alive. Police said that person did not send this update to the proper email distribution list. Police said this oversight has not happened before, and they're working to be sure it doesn't happen again.

Now, still leaning on each other for support at Vanderbilt, Waters' family said what they need is prayers.

"It's holiday time," said Tucker. "We need to be with our family, not thinking about burying my sister. I love you baby, and you're going to pull through it."

According to metro police, Waters was not on a crosswalk when she was struck by the car. No charges have been filed against the driver.

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