Mother of recent hit-and-run victim sounding off on broken traffic cameras in Kansas City


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A group of college kids out for a night on the town seemingly did everything right. They stayed with their friends, had a designated driver, but the safety plan was shattered by a hit-and-run driver.

Erinn Billups, 21, is a successful college student in the teaching program at Washburn University, the captain of the cheer squad and loves spending time with family and friends.

Saturday night, Billups was in Kansas City celebrating a friend’s 22nd birthday. Their last stop, the Levee Bar & Grill at 43rd Street and Main Street.

“I just remember waiting outside the building, and then I woke up in the emergency room with my parents,” Billups said.

Witnesses said early Sunday morning, the group was walking across the street to the to meet their ride when the driver of what is believed to be a black Nissan Rougue was speeding down the street and hit Billups. The force slammed her body on to another car and the driver who hit her took off.

“I have a skull fracture, I have an eye fracture, and a broken nose and then I have some internal bruising on my body,” Billups said of her injuries.

Billups’ mom Nicole was especially panicked after learning her daughter was in the emergency room with a head injury. She lost two brothers and her mother to incidents involving brain trauma.

“I was just happy she was talking. I’ll be honest, and she was alive,” Nicole Billups said.

In the emergency room, Erinn was confused, in and out of consciousness.

“My parents told me that I thought I got hurt at recess, and that it was 1990. But I was able to say that Patrick Mahomes was our quarterback,” she said. “Then after that, I snapped back into it and I knew that I was hurt.”

Billups said she will be laid up for several weeks, missing homecoming and her first day teaching in a classroom. As she recovers from her physical injuries, she also struggles with the emotional ones, knowing the person who hit her didn’t care enough to stop.

“It has definitely made me emotional, the past few days,” Billups said. “It would have been the right thing to do to get out of your car and help the person that you hit. Just get some clarity in the situation is what I want.”

As a result of her injuries, Billups can not hear out of her left ear and her nose is numb. While time will tell if Billups will be left with permanent damage, time is ticking away to find the person who hit her and took off.

Nicole Billups is frustrated after learning that many cameras do not work, and if they did, police would have more information to track down the person who hit her daughter and left her to die.

“I feel that it can happen again and again and again, that same person is not going to have a conscience,” she said.

FOX4 reached out to the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department and asked about inoperable cameras.

A spokesperson for KCPD responded with the following statement:

“There are thousands of cameras throughout the city, some of which are owned by the police department and some are owned by the city or other entities. As with any technology, there will always be malfunctions or problems which arise. Every attempt will be made for those to be fixed as timely as possible or notify those who are responsible for them.”

In response, Nicole Billups said. “We’re special. Everybody who goes down there special. So fix the equipment so that if something happens we get justice.”

A spokesperson for Kansas City, Missouri said after FOX4’s request for information about inoperable cameras, they are looking to see if they have maintenance requests for broken cameras in the city. We have not yet received that information.

If you have any information about the hit and run, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

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