5 On Your Side

Senator, citizen at odds after traffic accident

Posted November 3, 2015

State Sen. Floyd McKissick got in a car crash over the summer, and while 5 On Your Side doesn't usually tackle fender-benders, the way this one was handled can serve as a lesson for all drivers.

It's a classic case of "He Said / She Said."

Tenika Hicks thought she and McKissick, a Durham attorney, were on the same page about what happened July 30 and who would pay for the damage to her car.

"I was coming down the street. He was parked over on the left side and boom," she said.

The Raleigh Police Department report on the wreck says car 1, driven by McKissick, pulled from a curb-side parking spot into the lane where Hicks, car 2, was driving.

"I ended up over in the second lane of traffic to avoid hitting the car in front of me," she said.

Paint markings made on the pavement as officers investigated the crash are still visible.

"He just kept saying, 'I'm sorry. I didn't see you,'" Hicks said.

She had scratches and dents along the driver's side of her SUV, including the front bumper and tire rim.

Hicks says McKissick asked her not to call his insurance company.

"He said, 'Will you please allow me to pay you this out of pocket?'" Hicks recalled.

Unsure, Hicks asked her father what to do.

"I called my dad. And my dad said, 'Well, Tenika, you know, he's a senator. I think he'll pay.'"

McKissick gave her his business card and mobile number.

The police report lists damage estimates at about $500 per car, and it says both parties decided to "handle this matter civilly."

Hicks says she got two estimates. The lowest totaled $2,600 for repairs and a rental car.

When Hicks shared that information with McKissick, she says he asked if he could find someone to fix her car for less.

Hicks wanted to go to a repair shop she was familiar with.

McKissick refused to pay, so Hicks turned to 5 On Your Side.

When contacted, McKissick first said he had no idea who Tenika Hicks was. Reminded of the crash, he said, "My recollections are really clear. She hit me."

He claims the officer made a mistake on the police report, and he shared photographs of damage to his car.

In a memo to 5 On Your Side, McKissick wrote that although he wasn't responsible for the accident, he "would have considered paying ... $250 to $300" for repairs "just to get the matter behind me, not because I believed I was at fault!!!"

McKissick says he never promised to pay for damages to Hicks' car, only to try to work things out. He says $2,000 in repairs is "grossly in excess" of his and the officer's estimates.

Hicks, angered at McKissick's apparent change of heart, did file a claim with his insurer, North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance, but they found he had "no legal liability" and declined to pay for her damages.

"Who would have thought? Who would have thought? I never in a million years would have thought that Sen. McKissick wouldn't have lived up to what he said he was going to do," Hicks said.

McKissick told 5 On Your Side he met with the police officer over the weekend to challenge the report. Raleigh police told us the report was not changed.

She is left to either pay for the repairs herself, file a claim with her insurance company or pursue legal action. None of those options appeals to Hicks.

Her quandary can serve as a reminder that it's always risky to leave out insurance companies and try to settle things with someone you don't know.

McKissick's response to 5 On Your Side


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  • Marcy Lyn Nov 12, 2015
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    Political Party aside ( I couldn't care less ) this guy is a total looser and I would say that his WORD can't be trusted. Just keeps reinforcing the public's perception / opinion of people in Government and what happens to their Ego.

  • Betsey Duggins Nov 4, 2015
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    He just needs to "man up." Don't be that kind of guy. Knucklehead of an attempt. Thought you had more character and had taken an oath to get your attorney's license!

  • Sonja Yagel Nov 4, 2015
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    And this is what represents the people of Durham in Raleigh? If he lies like this to someone he damaged her car, he will lie about anything. Politician.

  • Ron Coleman Nov 4, 2015
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    First off this guy is an attorney and a politician and you trusted him to do the right thing? Shame on you, It is a fact that 1 you do not trust a lawyer and 2 a politician could not tell the truth if their life depended on it.

  • Tom Laurence Nov 4, 2015
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    Unfortunate for Tenika Hicks. And yet, another embarrassment - Floyd McKissick - to the State of NC. He doesn't even deserve the title Senator. Oh well - Bring on the Elections!

  • Nicolle Leney Nov 4, 2015
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    Anyone who wants to settle accident damage without the insurance company has a reason. Always at least notify your insurance of an accident. You can still settle things privately, but you should always notify the insurance company.

    So he says an officer who passed by after the accident told them to move their vehicles to the nearby lot. But then later he said a Raleigh police officer responded to the accident but both cars had been moved. Where's this first officer to support his claim of the original location of the cars?

    Also, if he was not at fault, why would HE have not notified his insurance company about the accident. What person is going to instead be willing to pay a few hundred dollars to the person he claims hit HIM??

    And I highly doubt the officer at the scene just completely ignored EVERYTHING he said. And if that was the case, wouldn't he have been even MORE motivated to let his insurance company know to cover himself?

  • Gail Dragon Nov 4, 2015
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    Always, always go through your insurance. It probably isn't too late.

  • Brian White Nov 4, 2015
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    "(The fact that he pulled out INTO THE FAR LEFT LANE pretty much says he's at fault - how about pulling out into the right lane, signaling to move to the center, and then signaling again to move to the far left? Na... I am a Senator - I own the road... "

    He was parked in a parking spot on the left side of the road...

  • Jim Hinnant Nov 4, 2015
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    A driver's worst nightmare. Hit a car driven by an attorney.

  • Janni Cone Nov 4, 2015
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    The guy's is a piece of work. Underlining stuff and slapping a statement on your law office letterhead doesn't make it true. There's a TON of stuff in his statement that is ridiculous - like the cop got EVERYTHING wrong in the report on how it happened? he forgot he pulled out into traffic? (The fact that he pulled out INTO THE FAR LEFT LANE pretty much says he's at fault - how about pulling out into the right lane, signaling to move to the center, and then signaling again to move to the far left? Na... I am a Senator - I own the road... And lastly - cops aren't insurance adjusters. It looked like there were multiple body panels involved in her car - that ups the cost quickly. Sad statement on integrity. Sad but not unexpected.