1 year later, family still seeking justice for hit-and-run victim

On the one-year anniversary of the hit-and-run accident that killed a Pine Bluff man, his family and police are again asking the public for help solving the case.

“On Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, my oldest son, Willie B. Young (better known as Danny) was struck and later died by a hit-and- run driver on Barraque Street,” said Silverene Hampton, Young’s mother. “Today, we, his family, friends and especially me, his mother are still seeking closure.

“Therefore, we are asking the public’s help once more. If you can remember seeing anything or hearing any discussions about the incident, no matter how small or insignificant you might think it is, but it might just be the evidence that’s needed to bring this tragedy to a resolution,” Hampton said.

Officers were dispatched to the 5200 block of West Barraque Street at about 7:55 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, in reference to a “man down.” When they arrived, they found Young, who appeared to have been struck by a vehicle that had fled the scene. Emergency workers responded, but Young was pronounced dead at the scene by Jefferson County Deputy Coroner David Westbrook.

“Now, I’d like to appeal as a mother to the person who did this to please turn yourself in,” Hampton said. “I am a God-fearing mother, and I have a God-fearing family, and we are continuing to pray that you’ll come forward. We are a forgiving family, and we can forgive you. Don’t be afraid! Turn yourself in for, ‘Vengeance is the Lord’s.’ We want to move forward in peace and love.”

Pine Bluff police are asking anyone with information about the case to call the Detective Division at 730-2090. All calls will be kept confidential and a reward is available for information leading to the identification of the driver.

“If this was an accident, we need the driver to come forward and tell us that,” said Capt. Greg Shapiro, PBPD spokesman. “There are many commercial trucks that use this route. We know that it is not realistic to think that a driver can allow room for a pedestrian walking in your lane because of the ditch and safely pass the pedestrian without entering oncoming traffic, [and the pedestrian would also not] have room to take evasive action.”

Anonymous tips can be submitted to PBPD detectives through the website at www.pbpd.org or their Facebook page. To text an anonymous tip to detectives, text to CRIMES then put “PBPD” with the message.