Settlement reached in case of Columbia officer who hit child with SUV

10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Monday, May 06 2019 May 6, 2019 Monday, May 06, 2019 8:07:00 PM CDT May 06, 2019 in News
By: Blake Sammann, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia has reached a settlement with the family of a four-year-old child killed by a Columbia Police Department cruiser earlier this year.

Columbia spokesperson Steven Sapp confirmed a judge signed and sealed a settlement between the city and the family of Gabriella Curry Monday.

According to previous KOMU 8 reporting, Columbia Police officer Andria Heese hit Gabriella Curry in January while driving her department SUV onto a sidewalk at Battle High School. Hesse drove on the sidewalk to monitor school buses once school let out. Curry died at University Hospital a short time later.

A report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol reconstructing the incident found it wasn't clear whether Heese's vision was obstructed when she drove on the sidewalk.

One witness statement in MSHP's report said Heese, "wasn't speeding, she wasn't going fast. I don't know how she didn't see the little girl. She drove up on the curb where they park all the time."

Another witness statement said they tried to honk to get Heese's attention.

The report also said Heese got out of the police car and instantly did compressions on Curry and called for help, according to a witness statement. 

Rev. James Gray, who worked closely with Curry's family to plan her funeral, said in her classroom, "she was the smallest one of them all with the biggest heart that you would ever meet."

"The teachers loved her. The students loved her," Gray said. "And so, you know, that's what we got to remember: the smile and the love that she had for other people."

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