Deadly southeast Alabama car accident leaves more questions than answers

COVINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — Questions continue to surrounding a crash where a man from Opp was killed, as well as new information his family has uncovered following his death.

Christopher Stevens, 47, was driving his Honda Civic when he ran off Alabama Highway 189, flipped over, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police reports stated he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time, however, his long-distance girlfriend in Michigan has doubted that and believes there must be more to the story.

Brandee Ritsema, Stevens’ girlfriend, said she started to investigate what happened once she heard about the accident, checking an app they used to track each other since they both lived states apart. This is why she believes some things just don’t add up.

“Tuesday at 4:53 p.m. when his phone went dead, he was located at the spot he was found yesterday,” Ritsema. “I am struggling because I feel like he was there longer and the accident didn’t happen when it was being reported as happening.”

During this time, Ritsema said even more tragedy occurred. Stevens’ mother, who was under his care, was found unresponsive on the floor after she had fallen in her home.

“I didn’t know where his mom was so when I found out he was hurt, his neighbor went to his house,” Ritsema said. “Knocked on the doors looked through the windows. Couldn’t see her. Nobody knew where mom was.”

Ritsemsa said he was supposed to take his mother to the hospital for a procedure that day. That’s another reason why she believes the accident happened earlier than reported. She said he cared for his mother too much to let something like this happen.

“According to the app, it happened in the middle of the afternoon,” Ritsema said. “It doesn’t make sense to me if it was off the road and tucked away from how it was discovered in the darkness instead of all day on Wednesday.”

She encourages families in the Wiregrass to download any type of tracking app on their phone so they always know the whereabouts of their loved ones.

“It wasn’t just an accident,” Ritsema said. “He was my boyfriend and he deserves to rest in peace knowing that things were done accurately and with transparency and not just assumed,” Ritsema said.

Ritsema encourages anyone with any information to share it with law enforcement because she said someone out there has to know what happened to the man she loved.

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