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Getting Answers: Off-Duty Officers And Pursuits

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A local family has questions after a mom and child were killed in a crash. Witnesses say she was speeding and weaving through traffic as an off-duty officer followed closely behind in his personal car.

The day after the crash, CBS13 talked to family of the mother and child.

“It hits home, [I’m] never going to play with my nephew again,” said James Eubanks.

James is reeling from the loss of his 4-year-old nephew Skylar and his sister-in-law Tricia Sears. Both died when the SUV Tricia was driving crashed along Interstate 80 Thursday.

“My initial reaction was, ‘What are you talking about? They live in LA.’ I didn’t even realize they were up here in Sacramento,” James said.

James’ 9-year-old niece Faith survived the accident. She remains at UC Davis Medical Center where her uncle says she is being put through various tests after suffering a head injury.

“The prognosis is that she’s going to be OK, but we don’t have the results yet,” James said.

The California Highway Patrol is still investigating to determine why Tricia Sears was weaving in and out of traffic – and reportedly topping out at speeds of 100 mph. South of Madison Avenue, the SUV crossed all lanes and struck a tree.

Fellow drivers saw a car following the Nissan Pathfinder. Turns out, it was an off-duty officer. CBS13 got answers, asking: Should the officer have been following the SUV?

“They don’t have to. There is no obligation to pursue. The expectation is that they do the right thing,” said former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness.

McGinness says, in this case, it seems the off-duty officer was trying protect other drivers.

“I’m going to do my absolute best to get on-duty black and whites in position to get this person stopped before the unthinkable occurs,” McGinness said.

The family grieving from their loss is still without answers to why Tricia was driving so fast.

“No one knows why she was doing what she was doing,” James said.

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