Tucker Hipps: Frat Pledge’s Death May Have Been Criminal, But Investigation Is At A ‘Standstill’

Tucker Hipps, 19, died in September 2014 after falling from a bridge near Clemson University in South Carolina, and the incident has left his family desperate for answers — and for justice. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Tucker Hipps died after falling from a bridge, hitting his head on rocks below. His parents have filed a lawsuit, and believe that Tucker was involved in some sort of hazing ritual, as he was a pledge for Sigma Phi Epsilon at the time.

A witness recently came forward and claimed that he saw students “laughing and having a good time” on the bridge around the time that Hipps died, but the witness could not recall the day he saw the people on the bridge.

According to NewsMax, the unnamed witness said that Tucker was “forced” to walk on a rail on the Lake Hartwell bridge; however, this has not been proven, and there were multiple holes in the witness’ story.

The death of Tucker Hipps may have been accidental, but the information put forth by this witness seemed to suggest that hazing was involved, and that Tucker walked the rail because he was told to do so by the fraternity brothers. This is exactly what Tucker’s family needed — but the information isn’t being upheld in court.

According to WYFF 4, Tenth Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams read a statement in court on Friday explaining why the witness’ account isn’t swaying the case.

“[The witness] claims he was traveling across the bridge at such an early hour to take his car into the shop. There are no records to indicate what day this may have been. He describes the group of students he saw on the bridge as having a good time which would indicate that there was no force or hazing involved.”

“During the interview with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office this witness appears to be coaching himself on the video when he is alone in the interview room. I commend the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office for their thorough investigation into the death of Tucker Hipps and my heart goes out to the Hipps Family for their tragic loss. Unless any other leads come into the Sheriff’s Office, the criminal investigation is at a standstill.”

Tucker Hipps’ family also released a statement after learning that the information given by the witness aren’t being considered credible or relevant to the case. They have also asked that anyone with information come forward.

“While we believe that counsel making public comment on the credibility or substance of witness statements is both inappropriate and prejudicial, we are compelled by recent events to respond. We could not disagree more with Ms. Adams’ opinions regarding the credibility of the new witness or the witness’s statements. We have sincere hope that the people of this community will refrain from drawing conclusions until all the evidence has been presented.”

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