3-year-old boy run over, killed; driver gets ticket

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — A three-year-old West Memphis boy is dead after a car accident over the weekend.

Family says Chias Jabari Bass was run over by a neighbor’s car as he and other children played outside a home on North 14th Street in West Memphis. Witnesses yelled to the driver, they say.

Now the family hopes police will file charges against the driver.

“Chias was full of hugs and kisses,” said his grandmother, Stephanie Bass, surrounded by family outside a Marion apartment. “Chias was a happy, energetic child. He always smiled, ran around and played.”

(photos courtesy Stephanie Bass)

But his family will never see him play or see his smile again.

“The man came outside and got into his truck and backed up,” said Chais’ mother, Tanisha Bass. “The kids said, ‘You hit Chias. You hit Chias. You just killed him!’

The children said the man moved forward and didn’t even get out the car to look.

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The family says when the police arrived, they issued a ticket and did not make an arrest.

“You got sensors on your truck. You have a backup camera,” Stephanie Bass said. “This sensor is going to go crazy. So, you failed to ignore everything that something was surrounding you. You say you thought it was a toy.”

West Memphis Police, in an email sent to WREG, called the event an accident and said their investigation found “no criminal intent.”

Their full statement is below:

“The West Memphis Police Department extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of 3-year-old Chias Jabari Bass following the tragic accident that occurred recently. We understand the immense sorrow such an event brings to all involved, and our thoughts are with the Bass family during this profoundly difficult time. After a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding this tragic event, it has been determined that no criminal intent was found. We ask for the community’s continued support and understanding as the family navigates through this incredibly challenging time. The West Memphis Police Department is committed to transparency and justice in all matters affecting our community.”

The family is outraged the driver only got a ticket.

“To me, it’s murder,” Stephanie Bass said. “So, you literally murder my grandchild, and nothing happens? You only get a ticket for being careless?”

The family is continuing to grieve as they remember Chais, the little boy whose smile they’ll never forget.

“I’m going to miss his smile, and I’ll never hear my baby say, ‘Mommy I love you’ again,” said his mother.

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