A Torrance family grieving the loss of their daughter is accusing law enforcement of giving special treatment to the sheriff’s deputy who crashed into her car in July, killing her and injuring two of her friends. Family members are wondering why the deputy who was off-duty, hasn’t been charged.
“I’m finally up learning how to walk again,” said the victim, Lexey Benjamin.
The crash shattered Benjamin’s femur and seriously injured her friend Serena. Both were riding in the car that crashed into a light pole in Torrance, shortly after midnight on July 8th, killing another passenger and one of their best friends, 23-year-old Ashley Wells.
“We will never hear her voice again,” said Ashley’s mother, Lanora Wells.
Ashley’s mother and all the friends and family wonder why the driver wasn’t arrested. They allege there was no sobriety test, even though they say they have evidence he had been drinking. They believe it was because the driver was an off-duty LA County sheriff’s deputy.
“From what we understand nothing was done at the scene. He was released under his own power and his own will. He took himself to the hospital,” said attorney, Michael Parker.
“It’s painful, it’s devastating. It is awful what happened to her,” said Wells.
The Torrance Police Department told NBC4 the crash was still under active investigation and that speed was a factor in the crash, but they did not provide any information on whether a field sobriety test or blood alcohol test was performed.
“It has been investigated to the fullest,” said Torrance Mayor, Patrick Furey.
Torrance’s mayor told family members it will be up to the District Attorney’s office to file charges.
Lexey’s mother says it has taken way too long.
“If it happened to me, charges would be filed but because he’s an employee of the LA County Sheriff’s, he’s getting a pass,” said the mother of the crash victim, Diane Kleen.
“I’ve always been taught as a kid that if something happens or someone does something wrong, that police officers are supposed to stand up and be there for justice,” Benjamin said.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department was reached out for questioning, but they have not responded.
“I want accountability,” said Lexey’s mother.
Lawyers for the Well’s family say they were told the deputy has been placed on administrative leave.