17-year-old pedestrian killed by car; ruled as an accident


FLOWOOD, Miss. (WJTV) – Nearly two months ago, 17-year-old Irina Gutierrez, a Northwest Rankin High School student, was struck by a car and killed in Flowood. The incident happened on February 26, 2021.

On Monday, the Rankin County Sheriffs Department released a press release saying no charges would be filed as it’s been ruled an accident.

Starkishia and Heath Bolding are Gutierrez’s parents. They said they don’t feel deputies and investigators are being completely honest with their findings. The Boldings said they were told by investigators that charges would be filed. 

“They said we’re going for the maximum penalty, but even if we don’t, then there’s still other misdemeanor charges that can be filed,” said Heath.

The person who killed Irina won’t face any charges. Her parents want to know who was responsible for the incident.

“I can understand why they would see that we’re not giving them the answers that they want to hear, but we are and have conducted a very thorough investigation. Unfortunately, that’s all we can do at this moment with what the truth has revealed to us,” said Paul Holley, legal counsel for the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department.

The Boldings want to know why the department won’t release the name of the person who hit their daughter.

“If somebody rear ends me out there on old Fannin, I’m going to get their name and insurance information,” said Heath.

Once the investigation was complete, the case was turned over to Rankin County District Attorney Bubba Bramlett for further proceedings. 

Full Press Release:

On February 26, 2021, Rankin County Deputies were dispatched to the intersection of Old Fannin Rd. and Jack’s Pl. for a report that a pedestrian had been hit by a motor vehicle. Upon arriving on the scene, deputies found 17-year-old Irina Gutierrez unresponsive. Medical personnel arrived on scene immediately and began life saving measures. Ms. Gutierrez was transported to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

RCSO criminal investigators as well as a RCSO accident reconstructionist immediately began an investigation of the scene. The area around the incident was searched and through surveillance videos each driver that passed through the area was identified. Multiple interviews were conducted and statements were gathered in reference to the accident and the events leading up to it. It was determined by investigators that only one vehicle struck Ms. Gutierrez. The driver of that vehicle never left the scene and fully cooperated with the investigation. It was later determined that this was a tragic accident and there was no criminal conduct involved.

While investigating this event, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office worked alongside attorneys and investigators from the Rankin County District Attorney’s Office to ensure that every step was taken to gather all information possible. Once the investigation was complete, the case was then turned over to the Rankin County District Attorney, Bubba Bramlett, for further proceedings.”

Rankin Co. Sheriff’s Dept.

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