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Family of competitive runner demands answers following deadly crash in suburban West Palm Beach

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 17:40:39-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The family of a competitive runner hit and killed in suburban West Palm Beach is seeking answers.

Palm Beach County deputies said 55-year-old Jose Laboy, a marathon runner, was struck by a driver on Monday while he was running near his neighborhood in the 5909 block of Fair Green Rd.

"His life was running, that was his wife," said Laboy’s brother, Edwin Laboy.

The victim’s brother, sister, and entire family want to know how the driver, 44-year-old Eric Banks, could hit Laboy then leave the scene, only to come back later and call 911.

"That doesn’t make much sense," said Edwin Laboy. "We don’t know how he could leave the scene and come back. We don’t know what time it happened, we don’t know how much time passed, if he was alive or did he die right away? We don’t know."

According to a crash report, Banks said it was dark and when he suddenly noticed Laboy jogging, he tried to swerve off the road, but struck and killed the jogger.

After the crash, deputies said Banks drove to his house, then came back to the scene and called 911.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded and found Laboy dead in the grass.

"Only two people know what happened, and one of them is dead," said Edwin Laboy.

The family’s attorney is making a plea to anyone who has home video surveillance cameras in the area.

"We’re seeking evidence that people, that the public might have to help us in this case," said Theodore DiSalvo, an attorney representing the Laboy family.

Laboy was a city employee and the primary caregiver for his parents. His family said they just want closure.

"Give us the answers that we’re looking for, that’s all we’re asking for," said Edwin Laboy.

WPTV reached out to Banks, but he ended the call right after learning it was WPTV calling.

Laboy’s family said Jose ran every day around 4 a.m. and wore a reflective vest.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said it will take time to investigate this case. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Office.

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