My beautiful daughter Chrishia was killed the night of Sept 12th; she was only 13 the night of her death.
She was killed by an Illegal Alien driving a truck without a license that was never charged with her death and was only given a ticket for driving without a license. I have written to the best of my memory everything that has taken place with the accident investigation and after. I believe what happened is something Texas and the American public should know. It is my hope you will take interest in what I have to say and help me share her life and death.
Sept 12th, 2014 was on a Friday and my daughter had asked to go to a birthday party for one of her friends from school. During the party at a local restaurant she texted me and asked to go spend the night at a friend’s house. I had never met the friend or her mother so I originally said no. After talking with her more I went against my better judgment and agreed to let her spend the night with the intent of meeting the mother of her friend when dropping her off.
By the time we made it to her friend’s house it was just a few minutes past 9 PM. I met the girl’s mother named Andrea but had forgot my cell phone in my truck. She did not have her phone in hand so we agreed my daughter would text me with her number so I could communicate with her on when I would be picking up my daughter the next day.
I gave my daughter a hug good night and planned on texting her in an hour or so and saying good night to her before I went to bed.
By the time I arrived home, less than 30 minutes later my landlord and close friend called me to tell me the parent Andrea was trying to reach me and they had got a call from her daughter telling me there had been an accident and my daughter had been hurt. They did now know anything more.
I was confused because my daughter should have been at her friend’s house and so I called my daughter’s phone to find out what had happened. The friend of my daughter answered the phone and was panicked and said my daughter had been in an accident and the paramedics were trying to find her pulse. I told her I was on my way and hung up the phone.
In rushing to the local hospital, where I expected to find my daughter and find out if she was ok, I ran a red light at an intersection that looked like the traffic was not moving and approached with my hazard lights on. I ended up totaling my truck and minutes after the accident occurred paramedics and police arrived on the scene. I began begging them to tell me what the status was of my daughter and asked them to get on their radios and find out for me.
After taking my information a policeman drove me to hospital where I was taken in to the emergency room and taken in to room to speak to a doctor about my daughter’s injuries. It was then the doctor told me that my daughter had suffered severe injuries and when she arrived to the hospital she did not have a pulse. They had attempted to revive her but were not successful. He said be believed that based on her injuries she never knew what happened and felt no pain.
My little girl was pronounced dead at 10:01 PM Sept 12th 2014. She was exactly 13 years and 7 months to the day. Only 15 months prior I had to bury her beautiful mother after having fought breast cancer for 22 months.
On Sept 13th I was still unaware of what exactly had happened to my daughter and had to start planning her funeral. By I believe Sept 15th I received a call from Officer McIntire of the Rockwall Police department asking me if I was able to give a statement for his investigation into my daughter’s death.
When he arrived my brother and my close friend and landlord were both present when he asked me about what happened the night I took my daughter over to her friend’s house.
During my interview with him he asked me if I had any questions and I told him I would like to know what happened because I had still not been told.
As he drew a small map and began to explain that my daughter and her friend were going to the store that was about a quarter mile from the girl’s house he explained that my daughter had crossed the road at an intersection that was not a legal cross walk. My daughter and her friend had successfully crossed the road but in the process my daughter had dropped her cell phone and was attempting to go back into the road and get her phone.
She had started back into the road when the oncoming traffic on her side of the road saw her and was forced to slam on their breaks but managed to stop 20 feet short of her. The driver on the opposite side of the road driving a white Nissan Titan said he did not see her until the last second and swerved to try missing her but hit her and killed her immediately.
The officer explained her friend had picked up one of my daughter’s shoes that would have made it possible to tell if the driver was speeding but the driver never hit his breaks. He did however roll to a stop in the ditch by the road.
During this conversation he did not give me the name of the driver only that he was a 34 yr old male and that he did not have a Drivers License.
I was confused and asked the officer how a 34yr old man could be driving and not have a driver license. At that moment I asked was he an illegal? The response he gave was “I’m not permitted to say this but yes, we believe he is.” He explained the vehicle he was driving belonged to a friend and the driver had stated he his wife and 3 friends in the back seats were heading to a soccer game when the accident occurred.
Hearing this was painful and admittedly I was upset, so I asked him if the man was going to jail for killing my daughter? He told me the driver had been arrested at the scene. I asked him if he was going to be deported and he said in his own words “ If they (the illegals) are found crossing the border they are deported back to Mexico, If they are found at the border after crossing, they are departed back to Mexico. However if they are able to make it to Dallas, unless they commit a Felony then they are let go and not reported.
What Officer McIntire did not tell me (though he states he did in the statement he wrote on interviewing me) was the driver had been arrested for having a 4 year old Warrant for driving without a license and speeding and they knew he was an Illegal Alien and I believe his wife and 3 friends in the truck. Of which none of them were reported to immigration services or deported. Only the driver was arrested. His wife and 3 friends were only questioned.
According to Rockwall County arrest records the driver spent 36 minutes in jail and was bailed out and released to the street.
A week after my daughter’s funeral I had to have surgery on my spine to repair damaged disks to my back. I had been scheduled for this surgery the week after losing her but needed to attend to her funeral services. The week after the surgery, my sister while staying over at my house to help me recover drove over the house of the driver. She took a picture of the driver working on the truck he had been driving when he took my daughter’s life and I saw in the picture a dent on the bumper. That dent matched a bruise I found on my daughters leg the day I attended her cremation.
My reason for pointing this out is that even after just being involved in an accident that took a child’s life, this man was still determined to continue driving and breaking the law. I did however tell my sister that she needed to stay away from them and let the legal system work for us.
In the following weeks I began to call more frequently to ask Officer McIntire if the driver had passed or failed his urine and blood test looking for drugs or alcohol in his system. In October, Officer Mc’Intire told me they basically knew the driver owned the truck he was driving, but because he didn’t have a drivers license he could not put it in his name. He passed his urine test but was still waiting for blood test. He said he believed the drug screen would come back clean as well. I said, “so he probably won’t be punished for my daughter’s death?” He then said to me, “Mr. Odette I have heard you blame the mother for not taking care of your daughter, and I have heard you blame the driver for hitting her, but you have not said anything about your daughter. You have to remember she was the one that chose to go back into the road.” I can’t remember but I believe I said at that moment, “you’re right, and she has been punished hasn’t she?” I said thank you and hung up at that moment.
It was in November just a week before Thanksgiving when I was told that he had passed his drug screen and urine test and was unlikely the man would be charged further.
It was through my personal lawyer that I was able to get the case pushed to a Grand Jury. 2 weeks before Christmas I was called by the Rockwall County Prosecutor’s office and asked to meet with the Assistant Prosecutor to discuss my daughter and the case. During the meeting I was told that I had a choice. They could push the case to a more experienced Grand Jury and have the case heard before the end of the year or they would push it back to January when they would convene again.
I asked if they (the Grand Jury) would be told about the warrant’s that I found on my own and that he was illegal and was told yes. The Grand Jury would be permitted to ask questions and all would be available for them to review but, because the driver had not drugs in his system, no alcohol and no driving history. It was not likely they would based on the evidence, indicted the driver on any further charges. I asked about why not charge him with negligence and she told me “The license does not determine his ability to operate the vehicle. Having no drugs or alcohol in his system meant they could not prove any negligence on his part to drive.”
I asked her to confirm for me what Officer McIntire had told me about not reporting or deporting Illegals in Rockwall unless they were charged with Felonies and she denied it and said she believed that to be wrong but would have to check into it.
The week before Christmas, December 2014 I received a call from the same Prosecutor (Stephanie) and was told he would not be indicted on any further charges.
In May I chose to end a Civil Suit against the insurance company of the original owner of the truck. Due in part because my lawyer told me that until the suit was over I could not speak publicly about what had happened to my daughter.
Last month I spoke to a friend whom I went to High School and is a law enforcement officer in another county in South Texas. In speaking with him he explained almost the same information as Officer McIntire. The difference was that DHS is responsible for Border Patrol and Immigration Services. He said that unless the person arrested is found to have a SEVERE criminal background Immigration Services does not want to hear about the illegal in custody. As a result police are no longer reporting them when they have them unless the person has a lot of Felonies, because Immigration Services will ignore the notification.
The man that took my daughter’s life still drives the streets of Rockwall Texas. He has been in Texas for 16 years and was married in Rockwall County 11 years ago. He received a ticket for driving without a license 5 years ago and for Speeding.
I can’t help but feel there is more to be done and this is not real Justice and had he been deported when he was found driving without a license then, maybe my daughter would still be alive today.
I am a Texas Veteran and served my State and Country for 12 years as a member of the Texas Army National Guard, and in the US Army Reserves. During my service State Representative Tan Parker of District 63 had HR 1916 passed to recognize those of us in his district that deployed to Iraq in OIF III in May 2007.
In December of 2015 after emailing several Republican Presidential candidates it was Congressman Michael Burgess that took interest in what I had to say. He took time and scheduled a meeting with me on December 18th and we met in his Lewisville TX office.
He listened to what I had to say and asked me a few questions and then promised me he would do what he could to find out if ICE was notified. He said he would not stop until he got an answer he was satisfied with.
January 8th he personally called me from his office in Washington DC to tell me ICE had taken an interest in the case and was going to execute an arrest of the man for possible deportation.