FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – When Samuel Clemons appeared at city police headquarters Monday morning, he turned himself in so that he could “give his side” of a fatal crash the night before.
The mother of the 37-year-old’s two children, Samia Ethel Hayes, was killed after he forced her car off the road Sunday night, according to newly released Allen Superior Court documents.
Clemons claimed, though, that Hayes was chasing him after an argument.
Witnesses and surveillance video from a parking garage near the crash scene suggest otherwise.
Video showed that when Clemons’ black Chevy Malibu struck Hayes’ gray 2004 Nissan Murano, the amount of contact “was so severe that the rear wheels of her Murano appeared to be lifted off the ground with the front end of the Malibu underneath the rear portion of her car,” an investigator wrote in court documents.
The Murano rotated clockwise before leaving the camera’s view. Later, emergency responders would arrive to find it partially wrapped around a tree.
Clemons now faces preliminary charges of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a level 4 felony, reckless homicide, a level 5 felony, two counts of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and resisting law enforcement by fleeing in a vehicle, level 6 felonies.
He is also charged with misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage.
Clemons is being held at the Allen County Jail on no bond, said Allen County Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Steve Stone. His arrest violated his release on a year-long suspended prison sentence he received on a drunk driving conviction levied against him this past December, according to court records.
The night Hayes died, Clemons said the two were arguing at a home. He said in court documents he left around 7:30 p.m. in his Malibu and she followed. Clemons claimed that Hayes struck his car from the rear as they drove toward downtown.
As they were turning, he claimed in court documents Hayes drove around his vehicle and got in front of his Malibu. Clemons maintained that his Malibu was struck by the Murano as he attempted to get away, court documents said.
That wasn’t what witnesses saw, according to court documents.
One witness said he was driving south on Clinton when he saw the black Malibu going “very fast and hit an SUV,” at which point a blue 2013 Ford F-150 was sideswiped. Other witnesses said they saw the black Malibu repeatedly strike the Murano from the rear as they traveled down South Clinton Street.
Detective Robert Warstler happened to be traveling on South Clinton when he heard the crash behind him, then saw Clemons shoot past him on the right and continue south on Clinton Street.
Warstler followed Clemons for a short period of time until Clemons ran a red light. That’s when Warstler initiated a police pursuit. Clemons circled the area and drove past the crash scene on South Clinton Street, turning east on to East Jefferson Boulevard.
One witness filmed the Malibu’s second pass by the crash site and then flee from police and turn on to East Jefferson Boulevard from South Clinton Street. As Clemons made the turn, he struck yet another vehicle on the passenger side and continued to leave the scene, court documents said.
The downtown pursuit terminated near Clay and Madison streets where officers found the Malibu had been abandoned. A citizen told police that the driver had fled. Officers shortly afterward surrounded Clemons’ home on Madison Avenue, but couldn’t find him.
The fate of the children inside the home was not addressed in court documents.
Back at the scene where the Murano crashed, bystanders performed CPR on Hayes, according to court documents.
Fort Wayne fire and other medical personnel soon arrived and found Hayes was still inside the car as bystanders tried to save her. There was extensive damage to the front driver’s door area, court documents said.
Hayes was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead from her injuries.
Clemons is due to appear in front of an Allen Superior Court judge Friday.