LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol is relying on help from the public to identify the vehicle that ran over a woman from Republic in Laclede County on Sept. 16.
The crash happened on I-44 near Lebanon. Crystal Hassett was a passenger in a vehicle when the driver overcorrected and overturned, ejecting Hassett. She was lying in the middle of the interstate when a car hit her.
MSHP said there was no evidence left behind, making it harder to find closure for Hassett’s family.
For William Breshears, Hassett was not only his mom, but his best friend. It’s why losing her is like losing part of his heart.
“I didn’t mean to hurt her,” William Breshears said. “I didn’t believe what happened, so I had to go check.”
William Breshears was driving Hassett and two others when he lost control and overturned. Hassett wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car. Moments later, a driver ran over her.
“We heard her asking for help, and they made that not possible anymore,” Sarah Breshears said.
Sarah Breshears was also in the car at the time of the crash.
“It didn’t even seem real,” Sarah Breshears said. “And I didn’t know what was happening. And it just happened so fast. It’s gut-wrenching, thinking about it.”
The MSHP crash team believes Hassett died after she was hit by the other car.
Sergeant Michael Mitchell, the Public Information Officer for Troop I said the vehicle is dark-colored, possibly black and troopers believe the vehicle has a higher ground clearance, like an SUV.
Mitchell said physical evidence in a crash where someone leaves the scene is key to figuring out what happened.
“It would be, you know, like vehicle parts,” Mitchell said. “None of that was found at the scene.”
Depending on the situation, Mitchell said it’s possible the driver may not face charges.
“It’s possible that the driver felt that they hit something but just wasn’t sure what it was,” Mitchell said.
According to Mitchell, MSHP is at the mercy of the community when it comes to finding closure for the family.
“That’s all we really have to go on is, you know, if someone was through that area in and around 1 a.m., 1:15 in the morning in that location, then witnessed the accident and felt that they, you know, struck something or maybe it was a, you know, a spouse or a neighbor,” said Mitchell. “It could be anything like that.”
Sarah Breshears said she’s hoping for any information that might be out there.
“I really hope that whoever did it comes forward or is found because it’s just so awful,” said Sarah Breshears.
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact MSHP Troop I.