Where does the responsibility lie?
That's one Chattanooga family's question after their loved ones belongings were left scattered on the road following a deadly crash over the weekend.
NewsChannel9 investigated and in turn, received the answers the family has been asking for.
All Andrew Williams wanted to do was go to the place where his sister, LeeAnn Carter spent the last few seconds of her life. But what he saw when he got there made him furious.
"The debris just made the 58 highway look bad. My sister's checkbook, her personal belonging, I feel like the police department or the Sheriff's department or whoever handled it, is responsible for it," said Williams.
So, who is responsible? NewsChannel9 asked Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond.
"This is something not your ever going to be able to put in policies. I told you general rules are that the wrecker's responsible for the vehicle and the debris field that is obstructing the roadway. That's their main responsibility," said Sheriff Hammond.
Sheriff Hammond says any personal belongings like a checkbook or a purse are the officer's responsibility to be picked up. In this case, Sheriff Hammond says Carter hit ditch, flipped and crashed into some trees. He says because she was traveling so fast, the impact was so great that everything in the car was scattered on the ground. And that, the sheriff says made it difficult for officers to find everything.
"In this particular case, would we, if we had tied up an officer to search as much in the underbrush, found more, possibly. But it's not something I can definitively tell you that my officers made a mistake," said Sheriff Hammond.
Les Cantrell, owner of S&H towing pulled Carter's car out of the woods.
"Usually in any wreck scene we go to, the police do an inventory of any personal items such as checkbooks, drivers licenses, money or anything," said Cantrell.
Sheriff Jim Hammond says he called the Williams family Monday afternoon to issue an apology. While Williams says he appreciates it, he says it's just not enough..
"Can I say this won't happen again? No. I can't. Should we have done a better job in this case? Probably should have and we're going to try to do a better job," said Sheriff Hammond. By Alyssa Spirato