COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott White said Monday that it's not uncommon for vehicles to park on the sidewalk where a Columbia police car hit and killed a 4-year-old girl last week.
MSHP's preliminary investigation found that Columbia Police Department Officer Andria Heese was driving east in a roundabout where buses pick up and drop off children at Battle High School on Friday. Heese pulled onto the sidewalk near the stadium so she could watch students load onto buses, where she struck and killed Gabriella Curry.
Heese and school personnel provided immediate medical care to Curry, who was declared dead at the hospital.
White in an interview Monday said the area of sidewalk where Heese was driving is a commonly used access point for official vehicles to get to the stadium.
Columbia Public Schools requires each school have a traffic flow plan that is released to parents every year, but the plan doesn't say anything about law enforcement parking on sidewalks.
Heese, who is on leave while the patrol investigates the incident, is assigned to CPD's Community Outreach Unit. It wasn't clear Monday exactly why she was at battle -- CPD did not respond to requests for more information and Columbia Public Schools referred questions about the incident to the patrol.
White said the patrol's major crash investigation unit is looking into the incident. The investigations typically take about a month to six weeks, he said.