Family questions investigation into loved one’s death

BATON ROUGE- Darryl West was hit by a car as he was attempting to cross the road and a little over a week later, he died from the injuries he sustained.

The incident happened around 9:30 p.m. on April 29 on Hwy. 74 near the Hwy. 73 intersection in Geismar, this is near Dutchtown High School and across from Alexander’s Supermarket.

West suffered multiple injuries and went through several surgeries before his death. He

Before West’s death, his family questioned the process of the investigation. Reportedly, the driver involved in the incident did not submit a breathalyzer and state police did not conduct any tests at the scene.

West died on Saturday and his death did not clear those questions up. Ron Haley & Associates is representing West’s family and the law firm is looking to get those answers for them

“Darryl West is not dispensable”

Attorneys Ron Haley and Ashley Greenhouse held a press conference Monday to discuss West’s case and to remind people that West was not “dispensable.”

“Darryl West is not dispensable but that is the way that the handling of this tragedy has made the family feel,” Haley said. “That accident has left his family in crumbles. This was not quick. For over a week he suffered. For over a week he fought.”

Haley and Greenhouse said they are questioning why the proper protocol was not followed in this situation.

“The reckless teenage driver who is responsible for Mr. Darryl West not being here today, she was allowed to remove what we believe is evidence from her car,” Greenhouse said.

Greenhouse said West’s brother was told he couldn’t be by his injured brother’s side because it was a crime scene, but police didn’t do anything to preserve evidence when it came to the driver’s car.

“That’s the thing that is most troubling for us is that There are certain things that we can’t undo,” she said. “We’ll never be able to recreate what happened there. I was out in the community today trying to seek answers and I did see the state police out there. Now that Mr. West passed away, they’re out there trying to get evidence, but it’s too late. The evidence was right there at the scene and they didn’t treat Mr.West as an important member of this community who deserved a fair and thorough investigation.”

State police sends out news release

State police sent out a news release that stated the Honda was traveling west on LA 74 and for reasons still under investigation, West walked across the westbound lane of travel and was hit. According to state police, West was wearing dark-colored clothing at the time he was hit.

The news release also stated that the impairment of the driver was not suspected.

“We’re not saying that she was impaired or not impaired,” Haley said. “However, when you have an accident this severe, I think it’s any reasonable person’s due diligence to think that listen let’s make sure. She says she wasn’t but let’s verify. There’s nothing wrong with doing a breathalyzer. There’s nothing wrong with doing a blood draw. Had Mr. West died that night, the law would have required them to do a blood draw on her regardless of her state and that just wasn’t done.

“We’re not saying that something definitively criminal happened that day, but we’re saying that this was not they treated him as he was dispensable,” he continued. “They did not treat this investigation on the onset with the same vigor as they do in other cases.”

Several eyewitnesses haven’t spoken to police

Haley pointed out that there have been eyewitnesses they’ve spoken to that police have not spoken with. He said some of those witnesses came forward and asked to give a statement but it didn’t happen.

“We just want it to be done right and there’s nothing wrong with the family demanding that this is done right,” he stated. “At the end of the day if this is done right, and it shows that this driver was not at fault, then I think the family can accept that if it is done right. But at this point, it’s impossible to do it right because of what was done that day at the crime scene. If three weeks from now they come out clearing the driver from everything well, I guess so, because you did not do the job that you needed to do that evening.”

“Dinky” will be missed

West was 42 years old. “Dinky” as he was affectionately called by his family and those close to him, was loved by many.

“He was family-oriented,” said one of West’s cousins Monday. “This family has suffered a tremendous loss, a void that can never be filled. Darryl acted as an uncle and a father figure to his nieces. The kids loved when he came around. We just hate that this happened.”

Greenhouse said she didn’t know West but others spoke glowingly about him.

“Being able to meet people in the community today, everybody knew him, everybody loves him,” she said. “The workers in several of the stores that I went into say he was just fun and very lovable, always with family. I hate to meet victims on this side. Unfortunately, when the families come to us, it’s usually something like this, but it’s really cool to be able to go into the communities and see that they leave such a beautiful legacy.”

The attorneys are continuing to look into the case and state police are still investigating the crash.

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