Driver: 'I'm so sorry' after employee killed in Walmart parking lot wreck

Published: Nov. 26, 2013 at 12:54 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 26, 2013 at 12:55 AM EST
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Tamara Sheppard
Tamara Sheppard
Jesse Brown
Jesse Brown

STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Police in Statesville are investigating after a woman was fatally run over in the parking lot of Walmart on Monday.

According to the Statesville Police Department, officers were called to the Walmart along the 1110-block of Crossroads Drive on Monday morning around 11 a.m.

They say a female employee, later identified as Tamara Sheppard, was struck by a vehicle. She was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center, in Charlotte, where she later died from her injuries.

"I'm at a loss for words," said Sheppard's daughter Heather Summerford. "She loved her grand kids. She loved her family. Always worked to support them."

Sheppard was a wife, mother and grandmother. Summerford says Tammy loved playing games on Facebook and loved the Lord.

Summerford says information about what occurred on Monday morning has been limited.

"I want to know everything that happened - the details. No one has contacted us. We just want to know what happened."

Officers say Walmart surveillance video shows it was a slow speed accident.

"I didn't do it intentionally," driver Jesse Brown told WBTV on Tuesday. "I didn't see her and she didn't see me."

WBTV spoke with Brown, 71, who said he was turning the corner of a row of parking lot spots to get a parking spot when the accident happened.

He told WBTV that he never saw Sheppard and didn't know he had hit her until it was too late.

Brown said when he realized he'd hit something he stopped and walked to the back of his Ford Truck and that's when he saw Sheppard.

During his interview, Jesse Brown cried for Tammy Sheppard. He wanted to say something to her family.

"I really don't know what happened, but I'm so sorry it happened," Brown said. "I pray for her. I pray for the family. I don't know what to say. I'm so sorry about it."

Officers say Brown has not been charged and say investigators are working with the District Attorney to determine if charges are warranted.

"We are all devastated by this unfortunate incident and will miss Tammy deeply. She was an all-around good person who was always caring for others. Tammy will be remembered by all those who were fortunate to work with her over the years at the store," Store Manager Scott Byers told WBTV.

"We are in the process of reaching out to Tammy's family to see what their needs are during this very difficult time."

Officers say they are looking at the surveillance video, but do not plan to release the video.

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