An Independence woman was charged with a felony Tuesday for her role in a 2017 wreck that killed her daughter and injured eight of her children and grandchildren.
Pamela Byrd, 58, faces second-degree involuntary manslaughter for running a stop sign, which resulted in a crash last September at Todd George Parkway and Leinwaber Road in Lee's Summit, police said. The crash killed Byrd's daughter, Tracy Pycior.
Byrd's daughter, Nikki Robbins, said her mother is innocent.
"I feel like we've gone through enough," said Robbins, who was in the van when it crashed but was uninjured. Five of Robbins' children were injured, and three of Byrd's children were injured. "It shouldn't have happened to her," she said of the charges. One other family member was uninjured.
Byrd was driving a van with 11 passengers when she ran the stop sign, according to court records. The van was struck by a pickup traveling at 55 mph in a 45 mph zone. Byrd was traveling at the speed limit in a 35 mph zone.
Robbins feels the stop sign is difficult to see. She added her mother has been diagnosed with cancer, which may have affected her vision at the time of the crash.
She added her mother is heartbroken after losing her daughter, Pycior, in the wreck.
Pycior was thrown from the van when its back door swung open. Byrd's oldest son was also thrown from the van but just suffered minor scratches, Robbins said.
A man in the truck was also hurt.
Police discovered Byrd did not brake until one second before the airbag deployed. She told police on the scene that she failed to stop at the stop sign, according to police records.
A witness also told police the van failed to stop.
Byrd faces up to four years in prison, according to Missouri law.
"Due to the actions of Pamela Byrd ... a crash occurred," Lee's Summit police wrote, "causing injuries to 8 of her passengers and causing the death of another."