GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – A former volunteer firefighter has been found not guilty of leaving the scene of a deadly crash after a Guthrie mother was hit and killed in 2019.
“It’s a tragedy. There’s no winners here, except Zach gets to go home, which was all we were trying to accomplish,” said defense attorney Scott Adams.
Zachary Simmons, 30, was accused of leaving the scene of a deadly crash in October of 2019, killing 34-year-old Mandy Gorsuch.
“The family is totally distraught because what precedent does this set?” asked Daniel Hobson, Gorsuch’s uncle.
That night, Gorsuch, her wife and a couple of friends went bar-hopping in Downtown Guthrie and landed at Rooster’s Hard Times Club.
Witnesses say Gorsuch and her wife got into an argument with Simmons and his girlfriend while the two were in his truck.
Simmons allegedly told officers, “Mandy began to hit his pick up and he pulled away because he was scared and that he didn’t want damage to his vehicle.”
In the midst of screaming, the volunteer firefighter allegedly flashed his badge.
Witnesses said he “grinned like it was a joke” before he drove off. The group saw “the truck bounce” as it turned.
Seconds later they learned Gorsuch was underneath.
She died on the way to the hospital.
Simmons was later charged with one count of leaving the scene of a fatality accident.
During the days-long trial, testimonies detailing the events of the night and how the argument started conflicted.
Defense attorneys argued their previous police statements, interviews with detectives the following day, and testimonies at the preliminary hearing didn’t line up.
There was also much debate on how and if Simmons stopped the truck after running Gorsuch over and driving off again.
“Whenever the accident happened, Zach had no knowledge that he had run over anyone,” said Adams.
Simmons was found not guilty of that charge in a Logan County courtroom Monday.
“What happened to Mandy never should have happened, and I hate it. I feel sorry for [the family]. And I mourn for them and I pray for them and I hope that they can get through this,” said Adams. “Zach certainly didn’t do this on purpose, had no ill will or ill intentions at all.”
The jury deliberated around five hours before delivering the verdict.
Gorsuch’s family was visibly angry and upset after the verdict was handed down.
“The precedent that was set tonight was that if I go out and drink and decide to drive and I accidentally run somebody over, if I got enough money to buy a good defense like Scott Adams,” said Hobson. “Hey, maybe I’ll just do all right.”
They said justice was not served.
“All we wanted today was accountability. We didn’t want to see Zach’s life destroyed. We just wanted him to take accountability for what he’s done. And I don’t feel like that has been done. So, therefore, I don’t feel like we got justice on that,” said Hobson. “Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
Everyone on the scene that night took the stand except for Simmon’s girlfriend. The defense attorney said that’s not his burden and the State could’ve called her if they wanted to.
“Zach has remorse that he was involved in this situation. It’s just one of these deals that he’s going to have to live with for the rest of his life,” said Adams.
Prosecutors declined to comment.