‘She didn’t deserve it’: De Soto family speaks out following high-speed accident death of 17-year-old


ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A De Soto family is calling for action after their 17-year-old loved one is killed in downtown St. Louis.

It is the call no parent or loved one wants to get…that your child is dead.

It is even worse when you find out what happened could’ve been avoided.

With a shaky voice and broken heart, 17-year-old Sierra Ward’s stepfather, Donny Arnett, is still trying to come to grips that his stepdaughter is gone.

“Just a, just a good kid,” Arnett said emotionally. “It’s hard. One person has ruined so many lives right now. I just, her mom is so distraught, grandma and grandpa, it’s just a big hole that’s never going to be filled.”

The De Soto family said Ward had been in St. Louis city with some friends for a night away from the country.

Her sister, Abbygail, says she knew something went bad when she got a call from the driver of the pickup truck her sister had been riding in.

“It was tough getting a call that my sister had passed away,” said Abbygail Ward, sister.

St. Louis police say Ward along with three others were riding in the bed of a pickup truck when a driver going at a high rate of speed, ran a stoplight and slammed into the truck.

Ward and the three others were ejected.

The 17-year-old died, while the others are now hospitalized.

“She didn’t deserve it,” said Arnett. “There’s no reason for somebody to be driving in the city that fast.”

Ward was just weeks away from starting her senior year of high school and college acceptance letters were already coming in.

Her sister says she had plans on going to the National Guard and sadly that will not happen.

“They say the best legends die when they’re young,” said Abbygail. “Sometimes that’s true but I wish I had a bit more time with her.”

Ward’s family is calling on city officials to do something about the speeding in downtown St. Louis.

City officials say several busy parking lots and sections of streets are expected to close as soon as this Thursday night to alleviate from this happening again. Still, the 17-year-old’s stepdad is hoping more is done so no one has to feel their pain.

“I’m more aggravated and mad. She just, she just didn’t do nothing wrong.”

Unfortunately, Ward did not have life insurance, so her family is asking for donations during this time.

They’ve setup a GoFundMe to collect donations.

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