LAFAYETTE — A Jennings man was arrested Tuesday after he confessed to crashing his company truck into a Duson home earlier this month, narrowly missing a 6-month-old baby in a crib before fleeing the scene, authorities said.
Dustin Wayne Lasseter’s damaged white Dodge was Houston-bound for repairs Monday when Deputy Joey Graciana, who was investigating the hit-and-run, spotted it on a trailer heading west on Cameron Street, according to Lasseter’s arrest affidavit. Graciana stopped the driver and noticed the truck had front-end damage and missing parts consistent with evidence collected at the crime scene after the Oct. 11 crash.
Only then was 28-year-old Lasseter named a suspect, and he confessed to the crime at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday morning, according to the affidavit.
Lasseter was released from the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on Tuesday afternoon after posting a $1,000 bond for one count each of hit-and-run driving and reckless operation, according to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website.
“It’s amazing the police officer saw the truck,” said Lisa Viator, who lives with her husband, Sam, and their three young children on the sharp S-curve where Lasseter drove his truck into 6-month-old Liam’s bedroom.
Although the impact shoved the crib across the room and caused other furniture to collapse into the crib, Lisa said Liam wasn’t hurt.
“He was awake, just smiling, like he was protected by angels or something,” Lisa recalled Tuesday.
Sam Viator on Monday met with District 5 Councilman Jared Bellard, Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley and Transportation Engineer Warren Abadie to request a barrier between the roadway and the Viators’ property.
Stanley and Bellard confirmed Lafayette Consolidated Government will add a third reflective sign to the two already there to indicate to drivers that there is a curve ahead. Public works also will install grooves in the asphalt on the shoulder meant to prevent off-the-road crashes and the road will be restriped with reflective material to indicate the road’s curvature, Stanley said.
Transportation officials are studying the possibility of placing water barrels on the curve, Bellard and Stanley said.
Lasseter, 28, told authorities he fell asleep at the wheel when he crashed into the home on West Congress Street around 1 a.m. that Saturday. He then panicked and fled the scene, according to his arrest affidavit. He told his employer that he wrecked the truck while on a job in Texas.
Lasseter’s employers — who weren’t identified — told authorities they would submit GPS data on the truck for use in the case, according to the affidavit.
Sam Viator has since installed a wooden fence along the roadway in front of their property.
His wife said multiple drivers have plowed into their yard since they built their home in February 2011. But the home was never damaged until now.
“I’m terrified to put my baby back in that room,” she said.
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