CUTLINE

Ava Lewis, 26, and her daughter, LaMya Newhouse, 6, were struck and killed when they attempted to cross the MacArthur Drive in Nov. 2015. 

For the Record

Debby Schaumber

Family wants to see justice served

There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint on the world. 

LaMya Newhouse, 6, touched the lives and hearts of many during her brief time on earth. 

LaMaya Newhouse

 LaMya and her mother Ava Lewis, 26, were struck by a vehicle and killed at about 8 p.m. November 2, 2015 as they attempted to cross the street in the 2200 block of MacArthur Drive. 

According to the affidavit of probable cause, an officer with the Orange Police Department arrived at the scene in response to a call of an auto pedestrian wreck. The vehicle involved in the wreck did not stop at the scene. Upon arrival the officer found two bodies laying unresponsive on the east bound lane of the road way. Ava and LaMya were transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. 

Witnesses reported the vehicle which had struck them was traveling at a high rate of speed and after they were struck caused the bodies to “fly into the air.” 

The following day, a female called OPD and informed them the driver who was believed to have been involved in the wreck would be going there to speak with detectives. About four hours later, Carl Jacob Broussard, 53, arrived to give a statement about what had happened.    

Broussard reportedly began by telling detectives he left his house in Vinton, Louisana about 7:45 p.m. in a champagne colored Geo Prism. He stated he was taking the vehicle to his girlfriend’s house in Orange. Broussard said he drove west onto MacArthur Drive and when he got to where he needed to turn, he turned his blinker on and entered the turn lane. He stated then heard a “thud” and his “windshield shattered in front of his face,” according to the affidavit.  

Broussard continued onward and turned left onto Donnell Street. Broussard said he sat in the business parking lot for five to ten seconds “trying to figure out what had happened.” Broussard told detectives he thought he had struck an animal. He also included in his statement that if it was anything else, he “did not want to know”, according to the affidavit. 

Broussard allegedly then left the parking lot and drove onto Donnell Street and then to his girlfriend’s house. Once he arrived at his destination, he and his girlfriend checked the vehicle for damage. His girlfriend then went back to the scene to see what he had hit. 

According to reports, a short time later she contacted Broussard to inform him he had struck a mother and her child. After receiving the information, Broussard put the vehicle inside the garage and closed the door. The following day he saw the pictures of Ava and LaMya on social media and decided he needed to contact OPD. 

Broussard is charged with Accident Involving Death which has a punishment range of two to 20 years. He is set for trial on March 27th in the 260th District Court with Judge Buddie Hahn presiding. 

Ava and LaMya had lived in Orange for about one year prior to the wreck, but were originally from California. During the course of the past year, they visited their family members in California, but for the family it was never enough. 

“All I have now is just my memories,” said Iris Lilard, Ava’s mother. 

One of her favorite memories is of her granddaughter LaMya telling her she loved her and singing to her. The thought of these memories causes Iris Lilard sob. 

Both mother and daughter, Ava and LaMya, knew how to light up a room when they entered. Dancing and the love of music was a favorite past time they both shared. 

“They were loved by everybody,” said Sasha Burton, family member. 

Their death was devastating  to the family, but especially Ava’s younger sister Titi. Ava leaves behind four sisters and one brother who all struggle to move forward. 

Ava also leaves behind a son. He was eight months old at the time of her death. Kevon is being raised by his father’s family in Orange. They are hoping to see justice served. 

Santa Smart, LaMya’s paternal grandmother, will forever hold a special place in her heart for her granddaughter. 

Santa Smart describes LaMya as full of life, happy, loving and a daddy’s girl. When at her grandmother’s house they especially loved to share the Christmas holidays. 

“Christmas was really special for us,” Santa Smart said. 

During this time the family went to the local holiday parade, the tree lighting and ice skating. 

Santa Smart has “beautiful memories” of LaMya she will always cherish. One of them is the breakfast they shared on the patio per her special request. 

“She was truly heaven sent,” Santa Smart said. “Our little princess.”   

Ava and LaMya shared a special bond and love like most mothers and daughters. But, theirs has been taken a step further for all eternity. They also share the same gravesite. LaMya’s tiny casket is stacked on top of her mother’s casket at St. Mary’s cemetery in Sacramento, California. Even in death, their bond is unbroken.