Nine months after a suspected drunken driver kills a man, no cha - KMOV.com

Nine months after a suspected drunken driver kills a man, no charges filed

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- Judy Britton was in tears at a murder victim's remembrance ceremony in St Louis on Sunday afternoon when she approached a News 4 production assistant and asked to tell her story.

She held a photo of her husband, 45-year-old Lazarus Britton.  He was killed by a suspected drunken driver on January 22, 2011.  The driver has yet to be charged with a crime.

"He killed somebody.  He didn't just break his neck or break his arm.  He killed my husband and he's out walking," said Britton.

Lazarus Britton was on the sidewalk at Goodfellow and Natural Bridge when a red vehicle drove off the street, hit a utility pole, then landed on Britton. 

The driver was 19-years-old.  Police, at the time, told Judy Britton that a blood test would be done to confirm the driver was drunk and that results could take six months.   More than nine months later, Britton wanted answers.

Monday, News 4 began requesting police reports and information from the St Louis Police Department, investigating the accident.  Typically, police order a blood test to confirm the driver is drunk.  Sometimes the results of those tests and accident reconstruction can take months.  However, Britton's husband was killed more than nine months ago.

By Wednesday, News 4 learned the department was not waiting on the results of the toxicology tests and that the results were in the department's hands.  A spokeswoman said the investigators plan to seek charges by the end of next week.

When asked why this investigation took so long, a spokesperson for the department said she wasn't sure why it took more than nine months.  She said that the traffic department is investigating 32 other fatal accidents for the year.

News 4 intends to follow up on the case next week.

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