Father speaks out after man accused of driving vehicle that killed daughter is arrested

NOW: Father speaks out after man accused of driving vehicle that killed daughter is arrested

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Two years and one week to this day, a deadly crash turned two families' lives upside down forever.

Two teenagers were driving through the intersection of 13th and Spring streets in Mishawaka when they were hit by another vehicle allegedly fleeing from police.

Now after all this time, their loved ones are one step closer to gaining some closure.

 “There’s no justice if there’s no peace, there’s no peace if there’s no justice, there never will be," said Shane Neher, father of victim Elizabeth Johnson Neher. "How do you put a price tag on two kids' lives?”

There’s no justice for something like losing one of your children unexpectedly and unexplainably.

But for this father, the arrest of Jesse Lottie, Jr. is a good start.

"It just baffles me that a man can walk in society free after what he did,” Neher said. “Just seeing the exhaustion in his face is what gave me great pleasure. You look exhausted buddy.”

Investigators issued a warrant back in August in connection to a Mishawaka crash that investigators say Lottie caused on December 2, 2020.

According to court documents, Lottie was trying to run away from police when he got into the back of a Pontiac Grand Prix, sparking a chase.

As they drove through the intersection of 13th and spring streets, the Pontiac slammed right into another car, killing 18-year-old Elizabeth Johnson Neher and 19-year-old Clayton McClish and taking off from the scene.

Since then, the two victims' families have felt the hole that their losses have left behind.

Shane Neher explained how heartbreaking it is having to enter his daughter's room for the first time in two years while in the process of moving.

“Having to pack her room, which her room’s been shut down for 2 years. We haven’t gone in there," he said. "That was absolutely heart wrenching and it took a part of my soul. I can’t help but want to pass that pain on to this man and his family.”

Neher says losing a loved one, especially a child, hurts more than anything and the pain is impossible to fully heal from.

“Family, love, those are the things that make you happy, watching your children grow," Neher said. "I will never get that opportunity again but he will. He will be able to have a child and watch that child grow and nurture them and just be a father, I’ll never get that opportunity.”

Neher is hopeful closure could come with Lottie's conviction, adding, he doesn't want any other family to go through the sorrow and grief Elizabeth and Clayton's did.

“I feel like you should treat this as your child," he said. "Because believe me, they were five blocks from our home at eight o’clock at night, it can happen to you, it can.”

Lottie was arrested and charged last night in Saint Joseph County on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.

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