Family speaks out after young woman killed in DUI crash on Thanksgiving

Around the South

BOILING SPRINGS., S.C. (WSPA) – A bond hearing was held Monday morning for the suspect in a fatal DUI crash that happened in Spartanburg County on Thanksgiving.

“This was my baby girl,” Ericka Solesbee’s father said. “She hadn’t even gotten to start her life yet and, this guy, he just took it all away from me and her mama and her family.”

“Thanksgiving is supposed to be a happy holiday, but, from now on, everyone in Ericka’s family, and me and my family, will dread the holiday,” Alexis Harris said.

Jamells Floyd

Just before 9:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Alexis Harris and her best friend, Ericka Solesbee, were riding on Parris Bridge Road, near Davis Road, in Boiling Springs when troopers say they were hit head on by a truck.

“They went to the Cook Out to get a milkshake after Thanksgiving dinner and it was closed, so they were coming back home,” Solesbee’s father said.

Troopers said the driver of the truck that hit them was 43-year-old Jamells Floyd.

Alexis Harris was injured and 20-year-old Ericka Solesbee died on the scene.

“You took the life of the person I love the most: my best friend,” Harris said. “I had to watch her die right in front of me and I’ve never felt so helpless in my life.”

Troopers on the scene said Floyd hit another car after hitting Solesbee’s, but the driver of that car was not injured. They believe Floyd was driving more than 60 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone.

“Where he passed this car and hit my daughter was a curve, so he shouldn’t have been passing anybody anyway,” Solesbee’s father said.

“Clearly, the individual has demonstrated complete and utter disregard for the laws of our state and, unfortunately, it has now taken the life a beautiful young woman,” Kimberly Cockrell, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said.

Floyd is now facing charges of felony DUI resulting in a death.

“I just think it’s unsafe to let him back out. He doesn’t deserve it. He’s a danger to the community,” Solesbee’s father said.

“No apologies are going to help, but I do apologize,” Jamells Floyd said. “I was dead wrong. Dead wrong.”

Floyd was denied bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2021.

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