CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – For many, Jan. 6 is a date ingrained in our minds, but for a very different reason, it’s a day one local Charlotte family will never forget. It’s the day their dad was involved in a car crash that, months later, took his life.
Now, a year later, they’re wondering why the district attorney dropped charges against the man police caught and arrested.
It was Jan. 6, 2021, when they got a phone call they’ll never forget.
“Our father was in an accident,” Anthony Williams told FOX 46, “[He] made a left-hand turn on Tom Hunter. He was hit head-on, pushed into a guardrail.”
Anthony Williams, 60, was an innocent victim caught in the crosshairs of a man trying to outrun the police. According to CMPD, the suspect was driving a stolen Toyota Highlander on Tom Hunter Road when he slammed into Williams’ car. The aviation unit tracking the SUV from above witnessed the whole thing.
“A brain bleed that resulted in them taking a piece of his skull to let his brain rest, he had a broken back, broken neck,” his daughter Lakenya Williams listed, “Ten broken ribs and his left side was completely crushed,” she said. “He had a broken nose, broken leg.”
Despite his catastrophic injuries and grueling rehab, months later, it seemed as if Williams would recover as best he could.
“He was actually progressing,” Lakenya said. “He was moving along just fine. I took care of him at my house.”
On April 21, however, he suddenly collapsed and died the next day. The medical examiner determined the underlying cause was a blood clot as a result of the crash.
“He would have still been here if it wasn’t for the accident,” Lakenya said.
A year later, however, no one’s been charged with his death.
“The DA told me they can’t charge him because they don’t know who was driving,” son Anthony Williams said.
The press release from CMPD a year ago stated, “the driver of the Toyota fled the scene but was apprehended a short time later.” It made no mention of another suspect.
Eduardo Medina who has lived on the corner where the crash happened for 10 years distinctly remembers the scene.
“I just remember seeing one person running and the police running behind him,” he told FOX 46. When asked if the suspect was a passenger or the driver, Medina said, “He was in the driver seat.”
Xavier Mitchell, the man police arrested, has 10 mug shots on file in Mecklenburg County alone. Charges include burglary, assault, and robbery. Many of his charges have been dismissed including the one from Jan. 6, 2021, for felony hit-and-run causing serious injury or death.
“We see him walking down the street! He’s in our area,” Lakenya said. “I live on this side of town, so we see him walking down Sugar Creek where he was,” she continued. “It’s frustrating because we know he was there and they just arrested him and let him go.”
Now, the family is asking for proof. They want a chance to see dashcam, body cam, and helicopter footage from that day, and they plan to sue the City of Charlotte to get it.
“We have to sue,” said family attorney Walter Bowers. “We have to file this complaint in order to get access to everything we need in this particular case to conduct our own investigation.”
Now, all family has are pictures and memories of the man who lived life fiercely, and they’re clinging on to hope that justice will be served.
“We had to pay the price of losing a loved one over someone’s car,” Lakenya said. “That’s materials. A car can be replaced. My dad can’t be replaced.”
FOX 46 reached out to the district attorney’s office. A representative said Mitchell has other pending charges, and for that reason declined to comment on this story.