Driver Charged With Murder After Mother 'Viciously' Mowed Down

A driver has been charged with murder after a mother-of-five was allegedly mowed down during an altercation in Detroit, Illinois.

On March 20, Tiffany Watson-Vance, 40, was found lying in the street with tire marks around her body when police were called to the scene, according to local outlet WDIV4.

Her sister Tabitha Watson told Newsweek that her sibling died a "hero" after pushing her 10-year-old son out of the path of the oncoming car in her final moments before the vehicle struck.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged Shedrica Odessa Smith, 31, with one count of first-degree murder and one count of assault with intent to murder in connection with the hit-and-run, reported WDIV4.

She was expected to be arraigned Saturday morning.

Watson-Vance was rushed to the hospital after the incident, but succumbed to her injuries on Monday March 21. She was struck by the car at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday on Manning Street, near 7 Mile Road and Hayes Street in Detroit, Michigan.

Detroit police said two groups of people were gathered there due to an "ongoing dispute that they decided to resolve with a fight" before Watson-Vance was "viciously attacked."

The driver accused of intentionally striking her allegedly first sped away from the scene, before circling back to plough into Watson-Vance, before then driving away again to flee. A young child was standing near Watson-Vance at the time and was also nearly hit by the driver, officials confirmed.

Detroit Police Chief James White said: "It appears that the victim was a bystander, but she was clearly in the path of the vehicle, and there was no attempt by this person of interest to avoid her."

Her adult daughter Gatoria Bubrowski spoke to local news channel WDIV4 and said: "My mama was all I had... and now she go."

Speaking to Newsweek, devastated sister Tabitha Watson described her sibling as "my sister – the hero" and said she leaves behind five children; her 10-year-old son and four daughters, aged 14, 16, 20, and 21.

It had been widely reported Watson-Vance was a mother-of-six, but Watson insisted that was not the case.

Watson-Vance's family has set up a GoFundMe page to try to raise the money for a funeral and to help care for the children who have lost their mother.

The GoFundMe statement revealed that relatives were struggling to afford the funeral costs for Watson-Vance, saying: "Unfortunately she did not have burial insurance. The family is in dire needs of funds to assist with her burial and to help take care of her children. Her sister, Tabitha, is assisting in making final arrangements and would be truly grateful for any donation."

At time of writing, $2,300 of the $10,000 has been pledged.

Newsweek has contacted Detroit police.

Update 03/27/22, 9:15 a.m. ET: This article was updated to correct widespread reports that Watson-Vance had six children.

Police seal off the area
Pictured: A police "Do Not Cross" sign in New York City in May 2020. Getty Images