The white teen driver who hit and killed a black man with his truck and joked about it on Snapchat, was cleared of fault by police in the fatal collision, reports the New York Daily News.
In May, Matthew Martin of Hineston, Louisiana, posted a video online about his chance encounter with Sherell Lewis Jr. on the side of a highway. Under the video, Martin joked about hitting “some n*gger.” Lewis died from being struck by Martin’s vehicle.
Louisiana State Police said in a statement on Facebook Thursday that “a very thorough and comprehensive investigation into the crash” didn’t show that Martin broke any traffic laws when he struck Lewis. It does not appear that the case will go forward.
“Martin was operating his vehicle at the posted speed limit of 55 mph, prior to the crash, and decreased his speed as he approached Lewis Jr.’s location in the roadway,” the State Police statement reads.
“As Martin was nearing the scene, he switched his vehicle from the right lane to the left lane. As Lewis Jr. entered the right lane, he altered his direction of travel and began walking back towards the grass median. This action placed him in the direct path of the 2003 Chevrolet pickup.
“Injuries Lewis Jr. sustained and the front bumper damage to the Chevrolet helped to confirm the direction Lewis Jr. was walking when the collision occurred.”
Troopers said Lewis had stopped his vehicle on the highway in an attempt to remove debris in the roadway. He died on his birthday, at Byrd Regional Hospital in Leesville.
The insensitive driver who killed Lewis, took to Snapchat to laugh about hitting 31-year-old Lewis who he referred to as “some n*gger.”
Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft earlier condemned the Snapchat comment saying: “I am appalled at the content of the social media messages that were posted after the incident. This post is unacceptable and has no place in our society.” However, he concluded that nevertheless Martin did not break any laws with that comment.
The July 5 statement by state police said toxicology tests are pending.