We want the max: Family of crash victim speaks

Crash on St. Joe Road

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The family of a Fort Wayne crash victim is speaking about the past week since a horrific accident left their loved one partially paralyzed.

Police said 32-year-old Jeremiah Therkelsen purposely crashed his car into a car driven by Lamonta Green on February 7 in an attempt to kill himself.

“Monta had just left my job,” Jasmine Kolagbodi , Lamonta’s fiancé said. “Just gave me a kiss, told me I love you, I’ll see you tonight when you get off.”

However, she never expected the phone call she would receive just a couple hours later. It was the hospital saying her fiancé had been critically injured in an accident.

“It’s a hard thing to go through, how one day or one second things could change us forever now,” Kolagbodi said.

Lamonta is the father of two young boys. He was getting off a 12 hour shift at his job as a truck driver. He was waiting at the stoplight to turn into his neighborhood to pick up his one-year-old son. That’s when  Jeremiah Therkelsen hit Lamonta from behind sending the car airborne across the intersection.

“If you were out to hurt yourself, why would you put other people in the situation that you did, and I just felt like it was pure ignorance, and my brother had to pay the price for that,” Lamonta’s sister, Shyra Green said.

Lamonta wasn’t the first victim of Therkelsen’s reckless driving. He was also convicted in 2009 of vehicular homicide and got a sentence of 12 years probation. Lamonta’s family is relieved the outcome wasn’t worse; however, they want to make sure justice is served for their loved one and would like to see Therkelsen receive the maximum sentence.

“He really didn’t take anything from us except for the car because my brother is still alive,” Green said.

The family said they are extremely hopeful in Lamonta’s recovery process. They said he is already eating solid food.

“He’s going to walk again,”  Kolagbodi said. “It might not be right away. It might not be tomorrow, but give it time.”

Therkelson is facing five charges and is being held with no bond.

As for Lamonta, he’s already talking about riding his motorcycle again, and his fiancé says they still have a wedding to plan.

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