Family of hit and run victim disappointed in prosecutor's office
ELKHART, Ind. --- One Elkhart mother says she’s losing faith in her city — after learning the man who was behind the wheel during a hit and run crash that killed her son back in June bonded out from jail this week.
“Nobody had called me or left me any voicemails or emails or texts and so I called up the Elkhart County Jail and sure enough he was being released that morning," says Jennifer Fisher, Blaine's mom.
Frustration, anger, and grief - emotions Jennifer says have stuck with her since Monday morning, when she learned the man investigators say drove the car that killed her son in a hit and run crash was released from jail.
The accident, which also severely injured eighteen-year-old McKade Nielsen, changed her family’s life forever and it’s created a bond between both mother’s in a way they never imagined.
“She’s carrying a lot of grief too and sometimes her grief is by all means she’s beyond grateful she has her son and she can’t imagine having lost him, but then there’s times that she feels guilty almost it seems like that McKade’s still here and Blaine’s not," says Fisher.
Jennifer says McKade, who’s still recovering from the wreck, hasn’t been able to talk about Blaine since he died.
According to court records, the suspect --Ronnie Hapner –has a history of charges for driving on a suspended license.
Jennifer doesn’t see how that history, and this tragedy, wouldn’t be enough to keep Hapner in custody until trial.
“I believe that Ronnie Hapner has been permitted to operate a weapon for all of these years without consequence and so why would he change now," says Fisher.
The family has adopted a puppy to help with the frustration, anger, and grief.
Now, they want closure.
“We pray every night. We have pictures up. We don’t forget about him. We can’t forget about him, that’s not gonna happen," says Fisher.
Blaine’s family are continuing to petition to Governor Holcomb and other elected officials to hopefully inspire new laws for those with previous driving records.