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Woman dies in crash one year after daughter struck, killed by St. Louis County police SUV

Woman dies in crash one year after daughter struck, killed by St. Louis County police SUV

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ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis family faced separate tragedies almost exactly a year apart when first a 12-year-old girl and then her mother were killed by oncoming vehicles.

Melissa Bassett, 39, died this week nearly two weeks after she was injured in a hit-and-run crash in the city’s Baden neighborhood, police said Thursday.

Bassett was the mother of Akeelah “Ke Ke” Jackson, 12, who died in November 2019 about a month after a St. Louis County police SUV struck her as the officer was trying to catch up to a suspicious car, police said.

Family members on Friday confirmed the relationship between the two, but declined to comment further.

Akeelah was struck the evening of Oct. 14, 2019, while crossing the street in the 8900 block of Halls Ferry Road near the city’s border with Jennings. Bystanders told the Post-Dispatch at the time that the county officer was chasing a car when she was hit and did not have the SUV’s lights or siren on.

The officer driving the SUV, Preston Marquart, 25, was charged in April with second-degree involuntary manslaughter in Akeelah’s death.

The case is pending in St. Louis Circuit Court. Marquart was released on April 29 pending trial after posting $2,500, which was 10% of his $25,000 bail.

A year and two days after the crash that killed her daughter, Bassett was driving a 2000 Chevrolet S10 just after midnight Oct. 16 when she was hit by a 2008 Saturn Sky at North Broadway and Jackson Street.

Police said the Saturn was speeding when it hit Bassett’s Chevrolet while she was trying to turn left onto North Broadway. Bassett was ejected from her car.

Both occupants of the Saturn ran from the scene and are at large, police said.

Bassett’s sister, Tameka Guy, spoke with KTVI-TV this week about the death and called for the people responsible to be caught.

“It’s coming up on the anniversary of her daughter’s passing, so we’re just trying to get through it the best way that we can,” Guy told the station.

“It’s like God brought them back together,” she said.

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