Residents want safer streets after hit-and-run death
GARDERE - State Police arrested a man from Baton Rouge they said left a cyclist lying in the road after he hit her with his vehicle, then fled the scene.
Investigators arrested Darby Griffin, 49, in suspicion of DWI, hit and run, driving with a suspended license, obstruction of justice and driving without a seat belt. Witness say Griffin returned to the scene to cover his tracks.
"They had a guy, he came back up the street, I guess the car was blue or green, it was dark, and he said, 'Hey they hit me,'" said Charles Seals, who heard the crash, "and I said, 'No, you hit somebody!' and then he took off, it was a little Protégé and they had a hole in the windshield."
State Police said last night Griffin was driving on Gardere Lane near Nicholson Drive when he struck the rear tire of a bicycle ridden by Barbara Jacob, 56, of Baton Rouge. Investigators said the impact threw Jacob from the bike and into the other lane of traffic, and Darby fled the scene.
A short while later, State Police said another vehicle hit Jacob while she was still in the road and then called for help. With the help of EBR Sheriff's Deputies, troopers located Griffin's vehicle a short time later and arrested him.
Residents say the deadly crash speaks to the dangers of the road.
"They need sidewalks," said Seals. "I've been here eight years and you can see people walking up and down the street, traffic can get held up if you have someone riding a bike and you have traffic coming from both ways, because you can't get around the bicyclist, because you have to go in the other lane and hit another car, because it's so narrow."
The road is operated by DOTD and there are no plans to add sidewalks, though DPW says that could change in the future.