Metro family frustrated after finding out that driver who killed their son won’t be charged

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The family of a man killed by a driver says they've been told no charges will be filed against the driver.

The Crabaugh family has been waiting weeks for the investigation to be complete. Now, weeks later, they say the driver who struck and killed their son will walk free.

“Everybody's life has been turned upside down,” Melissa Crabaugh said.

Her son, 22-year-old Nick Crabaugh, was killed in a car crash Aug. 10 during rush hour while driving to his girlfriend's house.

“He was on the highway during rush hour on I-435 getting on I-70, and cars were stopped because of the time frame and he was hit from behind,” Crabaugh said. “He got hit so hard that the spare tire that was in the trunk was dislodged and ended up at his head.”

More than two months later, the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office and its Homicide Committee have decided not to press charges against the driver.

At first, Melissa Crabaugh said the man who hit her son originally said he couldn't stop in time, but the family later found out from court documents that the man who hit nick was under the influence of drugs.

“Then we got angry,” she said.

Crabaugh said she was hysterical when she found out her son's killer would walk free.

“We're not asking for this guy to go away forever, but to walk away with nothing -- it's not right,” she said. “That's not teaching people in Missouri that we can be protected by our government.”

A spokesman for the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office said there was insufficient evidence to show that the suspect was impaired.

"We must make a careful determination of whether  we can prove at trial beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty as charged," Mike Mansur with the prosecutor's office said.

But Crabaugh said many of her questions have gone unanswered.

“For a state to not have our back -- and because, from what I understood, it's got to be proven criminal negligence -- I guess when I look at that, when you're already doing something that's illegal then getting behind the wheel, that should automatically prove criminal negligence,” Crabaugh said. “I want justice for my son. I don't want this man to lose his life, but he can't just walk away with a slap on the wrist. And who's to say he won't do this again to another child?”

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