NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WHNT) – He lived his worst nightmare – walking up to a wreck where he thought his daughter was dead.
“She was covered in blood,” said Jeff Gooding. “She couldn’t talk. It was tough.”
Gooding got a call about the wreck late Saturday night, August 31. He rushed there immediately. His wife, Monica Gooding, was also injured.
“I was just in shock. Didn’t know what to do, really,” Jeff Gooding said. “They wouldn’t let me do nothing. I just had to sit there and watch. Hope and pray that everybody was alright.”
Gooding’s family is suing, saying the wreck that killed his father-in-law and injured his family could have been prevented.
“If the officer would have handcuffed the woman.. not left her alone in the car,” he said.
Misty Shelton is accused of stealing the Fayetteville police car after being arrested, then driving it away and slamming into the SUV carrying Henry Holt, Sr. and four family members.
Gooding said Shelton had shoplifted a pack of hamburger meat.
“That’s what the call was all about,” Gooding said. “I want to know exactly how she got in the front seat, if she as really handcuffed or not — what exactly happened… how she was able to get in the seat.”
“It should have never happened. If protocol would have came into play, it would have never happened. It could have been avoided,” Gooding added. “I think police departments need to re-evaluate how they train their officers. I don’t think the police officer followed his protocol.”
Fayetteville Police have not commented publicly about the crash. They are named in a lawsuit, along with the arresting officer and the City of Fayetteville, and Misty Shelton.