Attorney: Sibley remorseful over accident

Advocate staff photo by ROBERT STEWARTLivingston Parish School Board president Malcolm Sibley’s truck is towed away by a Kelly Dugas and Sons Wrecker Services trailer from his Walker home Monday after it was seized by Louisiana State Police. Sibley is accused in a fatal hit-and-run crash Saturday in St. Helena Parish.
Advocate staff photo by ROBERT STEWARTLivingston Parish School Board president Malcolm Sibley’s truck is towed away by a Kelly Dugas and Sons Wrecker Services trailer from his Walker home Monday after it was seized by Louisiana State Police. Sibley is accused in a fatal hit-and-run crash Saturday in St. Helena Parish.

No word if he will resign from board

Livingston Parish School Board President Malcolm Sibley’s attorney said Monday his client is remorseful over his involvement in an accident early Saturday that claimed the life of a 21-year-old Mississippi man.

The comments by attorney Sherman Mack came the same day as State Police had Sibley’s damaged 2012 GMC 2500 pickup towed from Sibley’s home in Walker as they continue to investigate the fatal hit-and-run accident on a St. Helena Parish road.

Visible damage on the truck included a dented headlight and missing side mirror, both on the driver’s side.

“There’s no doubt that it was an accident,” Mack said.

Mack said Sibley is fully cooperating with State Police but declined to say why Sibley drove away from the scene after the fatal crash or what he was doing driving in the area around 5 a.m.

Mack did say the preliminary investigation shows that Sibley “was not intoxicated whatsoever” at the time of the crash.

Mack said Sibley is “very sorry for the family of the victim.”

He added, “Of course he’s upset. It was an accident. It was upsetting. He’s going to get through it. He’s with his family.”

Sibley, 65, 33176 Weiss Road, Walker, was booked into the St. Helena Parish Jail with one count of felony hit-and-run Sunday, more than a day after William Iasigi, 21, of Liberty, Miss., was killed in the crash on La. 43 just north of Greensburg.

Sibley bonded out of jail on a $500 cash bond, said Joe Chaney, chief of detectives at the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Iasigi was driving a 2008 Chevrolet pickup southbound sometime before 5 a.m. when he stopped in his lane and exited his vehicle, State Police have said.

A northbound pickup, allegedly driven by Sibley, then struck Iasigi and the open door of Iasigi’s truck, State Police have said.

Iasigi was taken to a local hospital by his passenger, Jarrett Wilson, 23, of Osyka, Miss., and a pedestrian, Thomas Bailey who was in the area, State Police have said.

Iasigi was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5:05 a.m.

Trooper First Class Melissa Matey, a State Police spokeswoman, said Monday that troopers have not yet determined why Iasigi’s truck was stopped.

Matey said the crash is still under investigation and that State Police’s full report on the hit-and-run would not be available for about another four to six weeks.

Matey has said evidence from the scene and tips from the community led to Sibley’s arrest.

A family member of Sibley’s contacted by phone Monday declined comment, referring all questions to Mack.

“It’s just upsetting for not only his family, but he’s sure the victim’s family is upset as well,” Mack said. “Hopefully, when this investigation is complete, both sides can begin to have some closure.”

Mack said Sibley has not tried to reach out to Iasigi’s family yet.

Family members of Iasigi could not be reached for comment Monday.

Sibley had no prior driving citations in Livingston Parish, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lori Steele said.

Livingston School Board members have a regularly scheduled board meeting Thursday, in addition to a budget and goals committee meeting Tuesday. Sibley is not a member of the committee.

Mack said he has not spoken to Sibley as to whether he plans to stay on the Livingston Parish School Board or intends to resign.

Milton Hughes, a Livingston School Board member since 1972 and close friend of Sibley’s, said he has not heard whether Sibley will attend the meetings this week.

Hughes said he has not reached out to Sibley yet.

“At a time like that, I want to give him room to think about that,” Hughes said. “I just don’t know what happened.”

Hughes also said he has not heard if Sibley will resign his post or remain with the board.

Hughes said he would be one of the first board members to ask Sibley to keep his post.

“We really need him,” Hughes said. “He’s a real good board man. He knows what’s going on.”

Board member Karen Schmitt declined to comment, other than to say that Sibley has “been wonderful to work with” and is as “nice as he can be.”

Other board members did not return calls for comment Monday, including Vice President Buddy Mincey, who would assume Sibley’s duties if Sibley were to be absent at the upcoming meetings.

Sibley, a Democrat from Walker, is serving his fourth term on the Livingston School Board.

Sibley won his first election to the board in 1994. He lost his seat to Clint Mitchell in 2006 but regained it in 2010.

He was elected as board president unanimously in 2011.

Sibley represents District 1, which includes Doyle High School, Doyle Elementary School, Frost School, North Corbin Elementary, North Corbin Junior High and half of Holden, according to the board’s website.