Daughters remember mom hit by car

Woman killed Saturday crossing MLK Jr. Parkway

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:04:12 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 17 2013 02:38:34 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Letisha West's daughters will always remember the good she did.

"Even though she wasn't that old, she was a mother figure to everyone," Natasha Roach said.

"She cared about people, she was a selfless person, she let friends stay with her free of charge, she took people in off the streets," Shoniqua Roach added.

On Saturday afternoon, the 44-year-old mother of four daughters and grandmother of five lost her life trying to cross Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway while walking to a store near her home.

West's youngest daughter was there when the crash happened.

"She had the right of way. She was crossing the street to go to Subway to get a freaking sandwich, and a car barreled into the intersection and ended her life," Shoniqua said.

The investigation is ongoing and police haven't released the accident report, but a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report from nearby points out 38-year-old Hansel Drayton (pictured, right) as the driver of the car that hit West. Drayton stopped after the crash and so far he hasn't been charged in the crash. While officers were investigating, they found out he had a warrant for his arrest for not showing up to court.

After the original story aired, the man told Channel 4 the warrant was from his teenage years in the 1990s and he hasn't had any issues since. Drayton said he does have a valid license, contrary to what was noted in the police report.

West's family doesn't think Drayton intentionally hit their mother, but they do believe he was driving too fast and wasn't paying attention. They said West was inside the crosswalk and had a "walk" sign.

Drayton told Channel 4 he had a green light, was operating sober, and was not speeding. Police confirmed he drove through a green light. He also said the woman was not in the crosswalk as her daughters said. Police said she walked into the intersection against a "Do not walk" sign.

Drayton said he was having a hard time dealing with what happened and felt very bad, but it was a complete accident and he couldn't have done anything to prevent it.

"She was a very cautious, careful person," Shoniqua said.

Now, this once strong family has a big hole in it.

"She put me through college and graduate school," Shoniqua said. "I'm finishing my master's in May, and I thought she would be here to see me graduate. She would have been proud, that was her dream."

West's daughters say they're trying to lay her to rest the way they say she deserves.

"We're trying to pull resources together to give her a proper burial back home in San Diego, Calif.," Natasha said.

West leaves behind a young family, and she was a single mother, so her daughters are asking for help. They're looking for any kind of donations, such as money, food, flowers or transportation.

If you can help, they've set up a donation account through Wells Fargo. The account number is 8706821355 in the name of Letisha West.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original article was updated after the driver contested some of the details of the story.