Police Still Searching For Hit & Run Driver

By Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Police are continuing their search for the driver who hit a motorcyclist Wednesday morning and left the scene.

The motorcyclist, 62-year-old Bennie Dee Barr, later died at Parkland Hospital from his injuries.   His wife is angry and frustrated anyone would treat her husband this way.  “How can you do that?   How can you just do that to somebody and take off and not even look back?” she asks.   “I don’t understand it, I’ll never understand it, I couldn’t do it to a squirrel in the street, much less a human.”

Bennie Barr was using his Harley-Davidson to go to work Wednesday, trying to save on gasoline expenses.

Police say in the early morning darkness a 10-year-old Mercedes turned in front of him and Barr struck the car.   He died of his injuries later at Parkland.   The driver fled and abandoned his car a few blocks away.

Lynn Barr has a message for that man.  “I want him to know that he took away a good man, with a good heart, and so many friends. “

Lynn says her husband was a bike man.  He recently sold his ‘chopper’ for a Harley because it fit him better.

Family members describe Barr as a big old bear of a man with a soft spot in his heart for animals.  Dogs and his birds, one of which continually sings You Are My Sunshine.

Police know who owns the car and are confident they will find the driver.   When they do they will charge him Failure to Stop and Render Aid, a third degree felony.

“If this was just merely an accident and the suspect would’ve stopped and even called 911 and administered some type of aid, it would’ve been merely an accident,” according to Dallas Police Senior Corporal Kevin Janse.  “There are still numerous charges that could be filed against this suspect  but that’s going to be the easiest one to prove.”

Lynn Barr wants the man caught.  But what she really wants, she can’t have… the return of her husband. “  I  want him to come home right now, I want him to come through the door and the dogs bark, and everybody go crazy and the birds.”

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but Mrs. Barr says several of her husbands fellow bikers have asked if they can ride motorcycles to the service.   She says they may.

  • Vince LaCarter

    Have known Bennie for over 38 years. We worked at TXI Structural Products together. And we were neighbors as well. He was there for me when I had my Hit and Run accident on my motorcycle, back in 1984. He will be deeply missed!! My heart and prayers goes out to Lynn during this time. Vince LaCarter

  • Gwynn Williams

    I have known Bennie and Lynn since 1985. Bennie was a very kind, wonderful man who loved Lynn dearly. My most memorable memory of Bennie was him genlty carrying Lynn out of my house on her 40th birhtday. He will truly be missed……………

  • Bennie's Friend

    The driver better hope the police find him before we do.

  • A friend of Bennies

    A good guy who will truly be missed by family and those of us who knew him…
    Rest n Peace Big Bird

  • Friend of Tom's

    Barr family, I’m so sorry for your loss. It was a horrible and tragic accident. But I knew the driver personally…and he was far from heartless. He was a friendly gentle guy who also had a huge heart for animals. He was also a scared kid who panicked and made a stupid decision. You have no idea what his reaction was when he found out Bennie had been injured. He was so torn up with guilt that he turned himself in. Please consider that before making jokes or threats about taking justice into your own hands.

    • No Excuses

      I’m a little skeptical at that response…did he turn himself in because he felt guilty or because he left his car and knew he would be caught eventually?

      • Friend of Tom's

        I understand where you’re coming from, but I’m telling you he turned himself in because he knew it was the right thing to do. Whether or not you believe me won’t change the fact that Mr. Barr is gone or that my friend is locked in a cell, but I want the public to know that Tom was not a bad person. He had the opportunity to not face his consequences, and he chose to face them. There is a key factor missing and I absolutely won’t discuss it; but the fact that he abandoned the car does not mean he would have been liable. If you have knowledge of the case, you know that it’s not that simple.

  • Justice

    Hey “Friend Of Tom’s”,


    It’s that simple. Scared or not, if he stayed at the scene, he would have probably been given a sobriety test. Now we can only guess IF and WHAT he was under the influence of…

    Also, why did he wait 3 days to turn himself in? There were 4 witnesses who saw him run and gave a description to the police. He wasn’t going to be able to hide in Boca Raton or anywhere else for very long.

    He is a total 0 who got behind the wheel when he should not have and an innocent person paid the ultimate price. If there is justice, someone will accidentally shiv him in county. He will bleed out and die a slow painful death like his victim.

  • Be Considerate.

    I’m sorry you feel that way. But you clearly don’t know the details of the situation and therefore have no grounds to judge. You call my friend guilty? Fine, he would probably agree with you, because the fact is that he did understand he made a stupid mistake. He’s a SCARED KID who didn’t intentionally hurt anyone or get drunk behind the wheel. Your insensitivity to Tom’s family and friends is greatly unappreciated. Your focus should be on the condolences and respect for Mr. Barr and his loved ones, not in making assumptions and violent remarks.

  • Lynn

    By the way, I don’t consider 22 as “a kid”! Most young people of that age are on their way to school or like Bennie, on his way to a job at 6AM. Plus Tom did have outstanding warrants so he must have had some understanding of the law!

  • Mandy

    I am truly sorry for you loss. Seven years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter, my cousin was killed in a motor vehicle accident. The driver of the vehicle he was in was intoxicated but got off with 16 months because he was a “kid” and he also blamed my cousin for the accident. Please accept my sympathy and know your family are in my prayers. As for Toms friend: if you hit anyone or anything in the road and then drive off without trying to help you are heartless. If ever there was justice then he should have to remember that day and the heartless decision he made to leave without helping or even calling 911 by writing a letter each year on the anniversary of the accident until the day that he dies. He should never be allowed to just forget what he did and move on with his life because believe me Mr. Barrs family and friends will never forget. God shall be with this great family for the Devil was with Tom that night.

    • Lynn

      Friend of Tom, I think that your love and concern for your friend is admirable. However, he is still alive and my beloved husband is not! His 3 children and 6 grandchildren are still in great pain, as well as myself. Our 6 yr old granddaughter asked me if Papa could come back for just one day to see her and it just ripped my heart out to try to explain to her that he had to stay in heaven to help Jesus take care of all of the animals. In the coming weeks we will all learn of the circunstance of which you speak. but in the meantime, the sorrow is insurmountable. I do appreciate your concern for our family as well as for your friend.

  • Friend of Tom's

    Lynn, thank you for your kind words. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. I know my friend will be ready to face the appropriate consequences for his actions. I will keep your family in my prayers.

  • Trisha

    Bennie was my brother in law. He was a good man with so many friends and people who loved him. My sister, his kids and grandkids have lost o huge piece of their lives. It is so sad that they won’t have him around for so many important times in their lives. He won’t see some of their first days of school, graduations, weddings and great grandkids! I understand Tom’s friends loyalty, but the whole thing was so preventable! If he had stopped and help, called 911 or something then it would have been a terrible accident. Both families could have eventually come to grips with it. Since he chose to run then it is the same as if he had intentionally murdered someone. I can understand he was scared but I’m sure Bennie was too! I have a 21 year old daughter and I know that she would have been scared but I am positive that she could not have morally left someone bleeding in the road! I feel sorry for him that he will have to live with that for the rest of his life, but I feel worse for Bennie’s family because we have to live with that for the rest of our lives too. At least Tom’s family still has him to help with their grief!

  • Sad.

    Tom’s family does not have him there to help,. he’s in jail! And furthermore, Tom will face a lifetime of being rejected by jobs, peers, and the rest of society because of a terrible mistake he made when he was a young man. He was in shock, he wasn’t thinking clearly. He is NOT a cruel of heartless person. That is also a tragedy. He has already had such a difficult life, it will be incredibly hard to watch him struggle even more. There is no excuse for why he didn’t call the police, but would Bennie have still survived if he had made the call? We cannot know that.

  • Trisha

    Your right sadly we will never know. Chances are he would not have with the extent of his injuries. It would have been morally right for him to try though instead of running. If he had at least stopped it would have shown he cared. I am not saying he is heartless but driving a block realizing what he had done and going back instead of leading the witnesses through parking lots and numerous streets and then finally bailing and running is not the action of someone who does not understand what he was doing. I am sad for him and his family for the choice that he made. I am also sorry if he had a rough life but alot of us have. This was a huge tragedy that as I previously said would have been a terrible accident that we could have eventually learned to deal with if only he would have stopped and helped.

  • unknown

    ok friends to tom!! this is a joke!! he obviously has no heart!! that guy deserved nothing to get killed, but sam punk ass kid is driving around not paying attention and kills him!! ya there isnt anything we can do now that tom has taken bennie out of these peoples life but it was wrong and ur friend is out of jail!!! my opnin eye for an eye! if he killed sumone he shud be killed!!! my heart goes out!!! to you tom i hope u rot in jail!!!!!

  • Friend of Tom's

    Dear Unknown,

    “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

    I’d suggest seeking counseling. I would hate to think anyone’s moral fiber revolves around what you just said. That is TRULY sad. Tom is out of jail. But soon he’ll face the legal consequences for his actions, and the people in that courtroom deciding his length of jail time is the ONLY just punishment he should receive.

  • Miss My Dad

    It’s so obvious that anyone who would run from a horrible accident is hiding something. Or , if he stayed he would get in worse trouble. 3 days huh, just enough time for the drugs and/ or alcohol to leave his system. We’ll never know now. Your telling me he didn’t know Bennie was injured? What a crock. I hope this insensitivity is unappreciated as well, because I have none.

  • Tom's Friend

    Actually, your insensitivity is expected. I’ve lost family before it was their time. I know it’s painful. And if I had family taken from me I would never even imagine having sympathy towards the person responsible. I’m so sorry for your loss and I pray that your family will find peace with this someday.

    Tom was truly a coward in that moment. He knows it, his friends know it, even his family knows it. But we also know that just because someone is a coward, it doesn’t mean they are heartless or deserve to burn in hell. It was an ACCIDENT followed by Tom’s stupid negligent response: running away. That was his ONLY crime. He did not purposely hit him, or wish to cause him pain, or feel the desire to rip a family apart. He ran, and it was incredibly self-centered, but again, to what point do you wish to see this young man suffer? Or do you believe this “eye for an eye” theory will relieve any pain from family?

    You can make assumptions that Tom was drunk or drugged out of his mind, but the fact is he had people around him before the accident occurred, and he didn’t consume a drop of alcohol, didn’t take any mind-altering drugs. So please don’t put a microscope on the past, we all have things hidden there.

  • Miss My Dad

    No I don’t want the death penalty. I’m confident he’ll get what’s coming to him from the justice system. Like I said, it’s not hard to see what kind of person he is. He is lucky to have friends like you. He will enjoy your eloquent letters in prison I’m sure.

  • Trisha

    I am Bennie’s sister in law, his widow’s sister, and I just wanted to let you know that I agree completely that Tom was a coward at the time of the accident. Unfortunately that has not changed. Now they have decided not to pay my sister the insurance benefits from the insurance on the car that killed him! My sister not only lost her husband of 24 yrs but also lost his income and is having a hard time paying her bills. Can you imagine how you would feel if you had to deal with all of this? We have to have insurance for a reason and this is why, in case we have an accident. Why would anyone be so insensitive to put someone who has already been through so much through this too?? Shame on everyone that is involved with this. Isn’t losing her husband enough to put her through?! I hope he gets everything he deserves!

  • There's only one criminal here.

    Please keep in mind that TOM IS THE CULPRIT. Not anyone else. No matter what. He is the one that made the mistake and ran away, and only he should pay the consequences.

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