Mississippi teen’s traffic death ruled accidental; Victim’s family questions investigation

Published 8:39 am Thursday, April 22, 2021

No charges are being filed in the traffic death of a 17-year-old girl in February, but relatives of the victim are questioning the investigation, Rankin County authorities said.

The sheriff’s office said a review showed that the death of Irina Gutierrez on Feb. 26 was an accident and no charges were warranted. The Clarion Ledger reports she was walking along a road at night when she was struck by a vehicle and died later at a hospital.

Deputies initially believed Gutierrez had been struck by more than one vehicle because a driver told investigators she was on the ground when he hit her. But an investigation showed the teen was struck by only one vehicle, and it was unclear why she was on the ground, sheriff’s officials said.

The victim’s mother, Starkishia Bolding, told WJTV-TV the family still has questions about what happened, including how many people were in the vehicle. An attorney for the family, Patrick Wooten, said authorities have presented conflicting information about what happened.

The case is being sent to the district attorney’s office for review.