Clinton Family Desperate For Justice In Fatal Accident

Sunday, January 24th 2016, 6:55 pm
By: News 9

A Clinton family is desperate for justice after their loved one was hit by a car and died.

The driver is charged, but only faces misdemeanor charges which the family said isn't good enough.

“It’s hard, very hard,” said Juanita Lira, Juan Lira’s sister. “I pray about it every day, every day and night.”

Four month after 44-year-old Juan Lira died, his family continues to sift through old photos and remember happier times but they are still grieving their loss.

“I still look outside and expect to see him out there,” Juanita Lira said.

Lira died on September 8, 2015, as he crossed 4th Street and Hayes in Clinton to go to the store.

His final moments were caught on surveillance footage. You can see him nearly make it to the parking lot when the car strikes him.

“She kept going because she didn't know what she hit,” Margaret Lira Nava, Juan Lira's sister, said.

The driver, Teri Haskett, 61, of Custer City, dragged him 175 feet before stopping, according to the police report. The car shows massive damage left by the deadly impact into Juan Lira's body.

“I don't see how she didn't see him, how could she drag somebody that far,” Juanita Lira said.

Haskett was charged with negligent homicide, a misdemeanor, but the family feels that's not enough.

“I want her to be charged with first degree manslaughter,” Margaret Nava said.

The family held a peaceful rally at Clinton City Hall on Saturday to serve as a voice for their loved one.

“He deserves his justice,” said Vanessa Anaya, Juan’s niece. “We're going to try whatever it takes.”

“He was somebody, he mattered and we're going to miss him,” said Felecia Lira, Juan’s niece.

Haskett’s next court appearance is on March 8.