Family of suspected DUI driver speaks out after deadly crash in Northwest Fresno

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Police said 28-year-old Brokton Bakman was under the influence when the crash happened, but his family says there may be another explanation. (KFSN)

A crash in northwest Fresno early Friday killed a man crossing the street.

Police said 28-year-old Brokton Bakman was under the influence when the crash happened, but his family doubts what authorities are saying.

Bakman is accused of having drugs in his system when he crashed into a pedestrian crossing the street, but his father says he's waiting for more information before he decides who is to blame.

The Fresno County Coroner's Office identified the victim as 26-year-old Joshua Whittington. Family and friends say he had just moved to the Central Valley over a year ago from North Carolina.

Fresno police may never know why Whittington was walking across Shaw Avenue just before 2 a.m. But they say Bakman was under the influence of drugs when he hit the pedestrian with his Ford truck.

Less than an hour after Bakman posted bail and walked out of the Fresno County Jail, Action News tracked him down at his parent's house. Brok didn't want to talk, but his dad said the family is devastated by the deadly crash.

"There's nothing good that comes out of this, no matter who the fault is," his father Tim Bakman said. "It's a bad place to be. We're just taking it one day at a time, and we'll figure it out as we go."

Fresno police say Whittington was walking from the south side of Shaw avenue, heading north about 100 yards east of Marty Avenue when he was struck.

"We have a ped in the roadway where he doesn't belong and then we have a DUI driver on the roadway," Lt. Richard Tucker with the Fresno Police Department explained. "Obviously, he doesn't belong there as well. He's committing a crime by driving under the influence."

Officers say Bakman's blood was drawn after it was determined by a drug recognition expert he was under the influence of a substance other than alcohol.

Bakman was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence. Friday afternoon, Bakman's dad said his son had severe allergies Thursday evening and had taken a Benadryl.

He is not aware of any other drugs in his son's system. He said Brok has a good heart and is devastated by what's happened.

"This is a kid that feeds the homeless, he works for us," Tim said. "Takes care of shopping centers, and he gives the homeless water and food."

Detectives are still trying to figure out where the victim was heading and why he was in the street. Surveillance cameras in the area aren't video policing cameras but traffic engineering cameras that do not record.

The victim's father lives in Fresno, not far from the crash scene. The suspect's family says Brok was heading home to his apartment after falling asleep at his parents house.

Related Topics:
dui crashDUItraffic fatalitiespedestrian struckFresno - Northwest
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