West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office

West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office

An on-duty West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputy whose driver's license had been suspended struck and killed a pedestrian early Friday while on the way to pick up inmates from a work-release site, said State Police spokesman Taylor Scrantz.

Deputy Alberto Casco, 20, of Brusly, will be cited for driving under a suspended license, Scrantz said Friday afternoon.

Casco hit pedestrian Clinell Robertson, 37, of Plaquemine, just after 1:30 a.m. on La. 1 south of Emily Drive, Scrantz said. Robertson was walking across the southbound lanes of traffic in dark clothing when he was hit, according to State Police.

Casco was en route to pick up inmates after a night shift work-release job, so there were no inmates in the van at the time of the crash, West Baton Rouge Sheriff's spokesman Dale Simoneaux said.

Scrantz said troopers on the scene early Friday were aware Casco had a suspended license, and did not allow him to drive the sheriff's van away from the scene. 

On Friday morning, Scrantz sent out a press release about the crash which did not mention that Casco had a suspended license. WBRZ first reported Casco had a suspended license.

"It's not out of the ordinary that we will go back at a later date or time (to update a case) … because it is still under investigation," Scrantz said. 

West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Maj. Zack Simmers said the Sheriff's Office did not know Casco's license had been suspended. Simmers said Casco was hired in February, when the agency did a full background check, including confirming that his driver's license was valid.

Simmers said West Baton Rouge officials found out only after the crash that Casco's license had been suspended on March 15. Simmers said they have not been able to determine why his license was suspended, but noted it stemmed from proceedings in East Baton Rouge Parish. 

Simmers noted that the agency routinely does check employees for any changes that could affect their employment or job duties, like a suspended license, but they had not done that since Casco's license was suspended. 

Simmers said Casco has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the State Police investigation and their Office's internal investigation. 

After the crash, Casco was given a chemical breath test and showed no signs of impairment, Scrantz said. Troopers have not determined if Robertson was impaired at the time of the crash. 

Follow Grace Toohey on Twitter, @grace_2e.