FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WHNT) – The family of a man who died in a bizarre crash Saturday night in Fayetteville is seeking answers about his death. They’re asking for any witnesses to come forward and they’ve also filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
Four members of Henry Holt’s family spoke Thursday afternoon in Nashville. The 54-year-old man died after a woman crashed a stolen Fayetteville police car into an SUV.
Holt was a passenger in the SUV. Four other family members were hurt: Destany Holt, Monica Gooding, Devin Gooding and Deanna Gooding. Destany Holt was the driver.
Bart Durham Injury Lawyers, a Nashville firm, is representing the family in a $7.4 million lawsuit. The family spoke outside the firm’s offices about their intentions.
“Justice. That’s what I want,” said Henry Holt, Jr. “I feel everything was done wrong. Everything. My Dad’s gone, when it could have been prevented.”
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-Lawyer Asks For Witnesses to Come Forward
Misty Shelton, 49, of Flintville, is charged with vehicular homicide, among other charges. The evening of Saturday, August 31, Fayetteville Police were called to the Dollar General parking lot on Huntsville Highway, initially for a domestic call. They also suspected Shelton of shoplifting, and after they arrested her, police say Shelton somehow got behind the wheel of the patrol car and sped away.
Shortly afterward, the patrol car slammed into the SUV.
“It was terrible. Me and my daughter, and my kids, and Daddy were turning a red light to go to McDonald’s to get something to eat, and the next thing we knew we were hit by a police car,” said Monica Holt Gooding, one of the passengers. Henry Holt, Sr. was her father. She said the last few days have been miserable.
“For my whole family, the kids, they’ve been asking for Paw-Paw. We don’t know… we have nothing to tell them,” said Gooding. “Their Paw-Paw’s gone. Our Daddy’s gone.”
Blair Durham, the lawyer representing the family, asked for anyone who witnessed Shelton’s arrest in the Dollar General parking lot to please call his office at (615) 242-9000.
The lawsuit claims the Fayetteville officer who arrested Shelton did not properly restrain her. The claim states the officer didn’t handcuff her and left her unattended in the back of the patrol car that was left running.
“Before you put someone in a police car, you handcuff them. This woman shouldn’t have been left in the back of a patrol car, alone, while it was running,” said Durham. “She has a rap sheet. She was drunk. We all know what drunk people do when they’re about to go to jail. They’re desperate.”
The complaint, filed on behalf of Holt’s family and other victims of the crash, names Shelton, the City of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Police Department and the officer as defendants.
Durham said the lawsuit was filed quickly in order to subpoena surveillance video from any store that may have caught any part of this on camera.
“We don’t want any of that evidence that may be there to be lost or spoiled,” Durham said.
Misty Shelton was treated at Vanderbilt Hospital in the days following the crash. Thursday, she was released and immediately arrested by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and booked on charges of vehicular homicide, felony evading, theft and probation violation. Her bond was set at $402,500.
Chris Thornton, spokesperson for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, said Shelton was then taken by ambulance back to Nashville. She is being housed at the Tennessee Department of Corrections for Women due to her medical condition.