EXCLUSIVE: Family coping with death of innocent man, hit by stranger trying to elude police

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Baytown man killed by stranger trying to get away from police, Elissa Rivas reports. (KTRK)

Joseph LaDay survived cancer and was working less, but at the age of 61 he won't be enjoying his golden years with extended family, including his niece Krystal Gradney.

"My cousin called and he said my daddy is gone," Gradney told Eyewitness News.

LaDay was killed when a traffic stop went haywire Thursday afternoon on Highway 146 in Baytown.

Police say an officer spotted 20-year-old Marco Flores driving erratically.

The officer tried to pull Flores over, but says he sped up and almost immediately lost control. Police say Flores hit a drainage ditch and went airborne, slamming into LaDay, who was just waiting to turn onto the highway.

"He wasn't even driving, he was sitting there," said Gradney.

Family and friends in his old neighborhood wondered why LaDay wasn't in his usual spot on his brother's porch.

"He always sits here. And when I come outside, he's on that porch sitting right there. Sitting right there on that porch, everyday."

His former neighbor, Angie Smith, says she will miss him.

"Coming out every morning and seeing him at his brother's house. I'd holler hey Big Joe, and he'd say hey what's up?" she said.

LaDay's brother, Calvin LeDay, was even more disturbed that police believe Flores tried to run after the crash.

"You try to run and somebody dies by it. It's stupid, not raised right," Calvin said.

Flores is charged with intoxication manslaughter.
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