Family wants hit-&-run death answers: “I’m not stopping until we figure out who did it”
LAPLACE — Lifelong LaPlace resident Danny Simoneaux was a giving soul and an avid hunter and fisher, known for walking up to 11 miles a night near his MacReine Road home.
Lovingly known as “Beedy Eye” to his peers because of his recognizable squint, Simoneaux, 55, never drove a vehicle.
Simoneaux’s family and friends were horrified to learn that his typical walk home turned deadly overnight Friday, when he was struck and killed by a motorist in a hit-and-run on Highway 628.
The collision occurred near Clement Drive in LaPlace, less than a mile from Simoneaux’s home as he was walking back from a friend’s house, according to Debbie Bailey, Simoneaux’s partner of 30 years.
Louisiana State Police responded to the scene, discovering a hit-and-run fatality shortly after 7 a.m. Saturday.
On Sunday, authorities narrowed the suspect vehicle search to a 1999-2002 Chevrolet Silverado, a 2000-2006 Chevrolet Tahoe or a 2000-2007 Chevrolet Suburban.
“For him to be killed like that, I can’t wrap my head around it,” Bailey said.
“He should still be here. He was so full of life. Talking to the state trooper, I didn’t understand how it happened, but I did go out to where it happened. He was either on the opposite side of the highway or off the highway when it hit him. It’s a real senseless death.”
Simoneaux was the biological father of Chantelle Simoneaux, Danny Simoneaux, Kody Bailey and Kolby Bailey, and an adoptive father to Jason Bailey, Shelby Bailey, Isaac Vizcaino, Sarah Vizcaino and Sophia Lee.
He was a brother to Simona Wilson, Celeste Simoneaux, Renette Detillier, Tony Simoneaux, Darryl Simoneaux, Calvin Simoneaux and Sherman Simoneaux Jr.
According to Bailey, one of his children was working in 911 at the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office when the call came in Saturday morning.
“He raised five kids that weren’t his own,” Bailey said. “He was an everyday good person.”
Simoneaux also had two grandsons, Brennan Bailey and 1-month-old Nolan Carter, who he had yet had a chance to meet.
His eldest daughter, Chantelle, said everyone knew him as a man with a heart of gold.
“He would always go out of his way to make sure everyone was happy, and he was a hard worker,” Chantelle said.
Simona said her brother held several jobs, including working on AC units, installing roofing and cutting grass.
“He’s my brother, and I miss him,” Simona said. “He was going through a hard time this year because we just buried our mom 10 months ago. Since she passed, he’s helped me out and would always give me money if I needed it.”
Simoneaux’s family is now working with a local funeral home to defray final costs, as he did not have life insurance at his time of death. A GoFundme link is available at gofundme.com/danny-paul-simoneaux-burial.
For Simoneaux’s family, the message to the hit-and-run driver is clear.
“Whoever hit him, just come forward,” Debbie said. “Everybody needs closure. Whatever it is, it is.”
Chantelle said she wants answers.
“I’m not stopping until we figure out who did it,” she said.
Investigating Troopers are reviewing evidence and are asking for the community’s assistance. If you have any information regarding this crash, the driver or whereabouts of the suspect vehicle, contact Louisiana State Police Troop B at 504-471-2775.
The suspect vehicle will have damage to its right headlight, right bumper area and hood.
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