Kansas City, KS (KCTV) -- Tamika Pledger will face a judge for the first time Tuesday morning after she allegedly ran into four teens, killing one of them and seriously injuring three.
Pledger is an announced candidate for the Unified Government Commission, and via Facebook this week, she vowed to remain on the ballot.
”In spite of what the devil is trying to do, I am still on the ballot,” Pledger wrote on her Facebook page. “To silence me is to silence our community. You know the system wasn’t created for us. It is broken to the core. Have you ever been wronged by this system? We all have at some point. My fight for the best for my community continues.”
In her Facebook post, she didn’t express any remorse for the crash, but did ask for prayers.
”My heart has been VERY heavy but the God I serve will make my enemies my footstool. Continue to keep all families in prayer,” she wrote. “I thank all the hundreds of friends and family for the love, the prayers and the peace you have made during this time.”
She then used upper case letters in her conclusion, “AN ATTACK ON ONE OF US IS AN ATTACK ON ALL OF US. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, my friends!”
A GoFundMe.com has been set up to raise $30,000 in money to help pay for Pledger’s mounting legal bills. She is out on bond, and some family members of the victims hope that the judge will make certain she knows not to have contact with any of the surviving victims or their families.
Pledger will make her first court appearance Tuesday morning on four charges of reckless aggravated battery. Pledger has championed an end to violence especially involving children.
Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman is likely to charge Pledger in the death of 17-year-old Tierra Smith. The Raytown High School student died Friday, which was a week after the crash. Gorman is waiting for Smith’s autopsy to be completed before considering any amendments to the current charges.
Two sisters and a boy remain hospitalized for their injuries. They are expected to recover, but face extensive therapy.
Pledger’s family has said she was racing to stop a fight involving her niece when she lost control of her vehicle and hit the teens. Immediately after the crash, Pledger told eyewitnesses that her brakes failed.
Smith’s devastated family is planning her funeral and counselors met with her grieving classmates on Monday.
Morris Letcher, a KCK firefighter and teacher, spoke to KCTV5 on Monday on behalf of Smith’s family. He said these are difficult times as they face immense pain and heartache.
”The only thing we can do about it is pray and take each day day-by-day,” he said.
Letcher said Smith had a broad smile, and she enjoyed shopping and taking pictures.
”She was a firecracker. That’s what I call her,” Letcher said. “She was just a very beautiful girl who will be dearly missed.”
Smith’s family hopes the legal process answers their many questions including why Smith was in KCK that afternoon.
”It’s tough to lose a child, period, let alone something that could have been avoided,” Letcher said. “As kids, we don’t see what could happen based on our actions, and unfortunately this cost Tierra her life and that’s the message we are trying to get out as a family.”
Letcher said Smith’s family isn’t saying Pledger intentionally hit the teens but that she must face the repercussions for her actions.
”They understand it might not have been intentional, but they do understand sometimes you have to suffer the consequences for accidents, and that’s where they’re at right now,” Letcher said.
The family has set up an account to pay for Smith’s funeral costs. Click here to contribute.