Family of Dallas woman killed in Labor Day car crash still looking for justice

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by GARY REAVES

WFAA

Posted on March 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 19 at 4:30 PM

DALLAS –– Six months after a beloved mother of three was killed, her accused killer has still not been charged. 

On Labor Day weekend, Latonya Lyons's car broke down on Central Expressway. It was dark, but the blinkers were flashing when a car entering the freeway slammed into her.

Even though the driver who hit the mother of three was at the scene, no one has been charged and the victim's family wants to know why.

"He killed someone," said Veronica Lyons, the victim’s sister. "He didn’t even get a ticket. We know he didn’t even get a ticket. That’s not fair to the family."

The accident happened the Saturday before Labor Day. Latonya’s Ford Taurus broke down at the entrance of Yale onto Central Expressway. A part of the car was on the shoulder and the other part was blocking the lane.

Investigators said Christopher Clary entered the freeway in his black Porsche at the same time and hit Latonya Lyon’s car. Reports indicate he hit the Taurus so hard it flipped over and ended on its roof, 60 feet up the highway.

Police investigated the crash as a possible case of criminally negligent homicide. They did not test Clary for drugs or alcohol and did not arrest him. Investigators chose instead to build a case for the grand jury.

That has the Lyons family frustrated.

"I don’t know why they didn’t take him to jail, we have seen his background and oh my God," Veronica said.

Clary’s background starts with a 1998 guilty plea for driving while intoxicated. The next year, he confessed to manslaughter after he hit a tree while drinking and his 15 year old passenger was killed. He got 10 years probation. Then in 2009 he was charged with driving 90 miles per hour in a 50 mph zone.

None of that proved he was acting recklessly in the Labor Day crash and police say making that case won't be easy.

"The first question the grand jury is gonna ask is how fast was he going," said Lt. Scott Bratcher a spokesman with the Dallas Police Department.

He said to prove how fast Clary was traveling, police need a readout from the car's computer. The department has software that can read it from most cars, but with a Porsche, not even the local dealer can read the data. Dallas police officials said they have been waiting since October for a readout from engineers at Porsche headquarters. Without it, police fear the case is too weak.

"If we present that in court a defense attorney will bring another 20 guys up to disagree with us on what the speed was," Batcher said.

News 8 went to the address that Clary gave police, but he was not home. His lawyer, who is also his father, did not return our call.

Officially, he has not been charged with any crime.

That leaves the victim’s family in limbo and in pain.

Email: greaves@wfaa.com

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