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Investigation continues after infant killed, mother hurt in Port Orange crash

Car parts scattered along the grass, as investigators returned to the scene of Monday night's deadly crash, looking for answers.

"Why did this gentleman rear-end the lady to cause the accident. Was it a medical condition that he suffered at the time of the crash?" said Jimmie Flynt, Daytona Beach police.



Police said 85-year-old Ray Beams suffers from Alzheimer's but has a valid driver's license and his own car. Port Orange police said it was about to release a missing person report on Beams, when it received a call about a crash.

Daytona Beach Police said Beams rear-ended an SUV that flipped twice, then crossed four lanes of traffic onto the sidewalk and struck 24-year-old Christian Sims and her 1-year-old daughter. Beams eventually stopped after he hit a tree. The baby died shortly after.

"That's something else they got to look at.  That's the secondary crash. Now, did the airbag deploy, was he knocked unconscious by the airbag?" said Flynt.

"He's real friendly, real nice guy. When you have Alzheimer's, dementia, you can go at any minute," said Mike, Beam's neighbor.

Mike who declined to give his last name said Beams wandered off in February.

"He took a walk and they found him at dinner time. Thank God, because they thought he fell in the lakes," he said.

Police said Beams was angry about going to a doctor's appointment later that day.

"We had Volusia County out searching for him, helicopters, state police, all out looking for him," said Mike.

Beam's family told officers they were concerned because he had dementia and was depressed after recently losing his wife.

"I was crying this morning because it's a horrible thing. I mean a young woman lost her child. This guy, I mean if he knows what's going on, I'm sure he's beside himself because he's the nicest guy in the world," said Mike.

Beams and Sims remain in the hospital.


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