Car crash victims seek justice, suspect remains free

Warning that some images may be graphic for some viewers.
One person is dead, one is in the hospital and one requires counseling due to the impacts of a car crash in a Rockford intersection.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 11:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A Beloit family demands justice one year after a crash that took the life of a great-grandmother and left a grandmother and granddaughter struggling with the after effects. One victim of the crash lost a leg and faces a lot of health challenges and her daughter is determined to fight for her family.

“This is just ridiculous at this point,” A family member of three crash victims Chelsea said.

Chelsea lost her 69-year-old grandmother on June 23 of last year in a crash at a Rockford intersection. Her 40-year-old mom who was driving was thrown from the vehicle. Chelsea’s 5-year-old daughter who was in the back seat struggles with the emotional toll of seeing her great-grandmother die.

“She cannot communicate pretty much, she can’t jump, she can’t play hard she has to pretty much be sitting down and coloring,” Chelsea said.

The crash near Forest Hills Rd. and Pleasant Valley Blvd. left Chelsea’s mom with serious injuries. She remains in the hospital.

“She can’t get up, she can’t use the bathroom, she can’t take a shower, she can’t even brush her hair by myself, she can’t plug her phone in herself, she can barely even answer the phone by herself,” Chelsea said,

Chelsea says she fights for her family every day because the man accused of causing the crash, 29-year-old James Simes, is on the run. Police say he was under the influence of drugs at the time.

“I don’t understand how you could be so careless and just be reckless, you know, it just does not make sense to me,” Chelsea said.

It breaks Chelsea’s heart to see her mother and daughter struggle.

“Times in the car when, you know, you gotta go a little faster on the highway, it scares her,” Chelsea said. “I can only imagine why. I should have never put my daughter into counseling at five.”

“I want to see him locked up, so he doesn’t do this to someone else,” said Chelea’s mom.

If anyone has any information regarding Sims, please contact the Rockford Police Department at 815-966-2900, on Facebook or on Twitter. To submit an anonymous tip, text the word RPDTIP and your tip to 847411.