Family Outraged Man Never Charged In Driving Death
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Montgomery home in Sanger is filled with family, but for yet another Thanksgiving, one of them won’t be here.
“I’m left alone – partner of 35 years just gone in a flash,” says Robert Montgomery as he talks about his wife, Dody.
Dody was a loving wife, mother and grandma he says. “She was the rock of our family,” explains daughter Tami Selby, holding back tears.
65-year-old Dody died in a crash on September 3, 2007. On that day, Dody, Tami and Tami’s 10-year-old son Mikey went for a motorcycle ride. They spotted a thunderstorm near Fort Worth. So they pulled under the Heritage Trace Parkway Overpass for shelter.
“It looked very safe for us to pull off and gave us a lot of space to be away from the traffic,” explains Selby. It wasn’t far enough, because within minutes a SUV veered onto the shoulder and slammed into them.
Dody was killed instantly, Tami & Mikey were rushed to the hospital.
“I thought they were all dead,” says Robert as he pauses “Excuse me I thought I was past this.”
43-year-old James Riley from Oklahoma was the driver of the SUV. He has a lengthy criminal history and was on parole after serving time for drug possession.
Dody’s family says Riley walked away scot free.
Though Riley was never arrested for Dody’s death, the case did go to a Tarrant County grand jury. But he was never charged because there wasn’t enough evidence.
“They had no physical evidence that he had alcohol in his blood in his system,” explains Robert Montgomery.
Suspecting Riley was drunk at the time of the crash, Fort Worth Police had Riley’s blood tested when he arrived at JPS Hospital. But they didn’t get a search warrant for that blood until 7 days after the crash, according to records with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.
By the time officers served the warrant the hospital had disposed of the blood.
A spokesperson with JPS wouldn’t go into the details of this case, but says that’s their policy and that they only keep the blood for 7 days.
Fort Worth Police couldn’t go into the specifics of the case, but in a statement say “We are saddened about this tragic incident and we are looking into our processes and procedures to see where any improvements can be made.”
Dody’s family says that’s not good enough. “I lost my faith in the justice system completely,” says Tami.
More than 3 years later, they say they want to know why such a huge mistake was made.
“I can’t bring my wife back, nothing can, but she needs some justice,” says Robert “Take her life and nothing – nothing happens it’s not right.”
So has this happened before? and does the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office think it will impact other cases? CBS 11 News tried asking, but we’re still waiting for answers.
As for Riley, he is currently in prison in Oklahoma, serving a 10-year sentence on a number of charges.
He has a parole hearing in 2012. Dody’s family plans to be there to do what they can to stop him from getting out.
They are also working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to get their story out in hopes of helping others.