Hit and run victim's family speaks out - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Hit and run victim's family speaks out

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

A Shreveport family is struggling to understand why a hit and run driver reportedly left their father for dead in the middle of Southern Avenue. The man accused of hitting him with his pickup truck, Edward Thomas, has turned himself in and is facing several charges. He is set to be arraigned on May 29th.

The death of Samuel Smith or "Sammy" as his family called him, is devastating. Now they are just trying to understand what happened the night their father was killed. "I'm still in shock," said Pamela Ervin, who still can't believe her father is dead. It is the way he died, that bothers her and cousin Latrina Ashley. "I'm kind of angry, I would say, because he did not have to leave him like he was a piece of something laying in the road," said Ashley.

They describe Sammy Smith as a loving father of four and retired truck driver, but far from perfect. "He loved drinking,that's just the way he was," said Ervin. Although she points out that doctors say he had been sober when he was hit on his bike. They say he liked to collect cans and often rode his bike through the streets. Shreveport police say initially they assumed he was homeless because when he died, he didn't have any identification on him.

But Ervin wants to set the record straight, she says he dropped his wallet in her yard while getting his bike. "I just don't like the idea that they said he was homeless when he lived with me," she said.

After the tragedy, when the family least expected it, people they don't even know offered comfort to the family in a unconventional way. A memorial for Smith still stands on Southern Avenue and family members say they are forever grateful to whoever put the memorial there. "I was happy, it let me know that people do care in the world, even if they don't know you and I'd like to thank them very much," said Ashley.

The memorial, a simple gesture, making a big difference for a family struggling to understand why this happened.

Smith's family is planning a vigil Thursday, May 2nd around the 1,400 block of Southern Avenue. It will begin at 6 p.m.

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