LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — An alleged drunk driver sped through a red light, killing two people and seriously hurting another in Loveland. Grieving mothers of the two victims spoke exclusively with FOX31 after suddenly losing their sons.
Joshua Remus, 33, and Michael La Jeunesse, 35, were killed in the crash. The best friends were buying ice cream and leaving Walmart, seven minutes from home, when tragedy struck.
Family members shared the two were the kindest men and would do anything for anyone, saying they looked after each other and everyone else, even caring for the homeless population. The victims’ mothers are now forever connected in an unimaginable way.
“There was nothing left of the car, nothing at all,” Evelyn Remus said.
Driver ran red light, crashing into Subaru
The crash happened at the intersection of East Eisenhower Boulevard at North Denver Avenue. According to Loveland Police, the driver of a black Dodge Ram ran a red light and slammed into a tan Subaru while the driver was trying to make a left turn. Inside the Subaru was Evelyn Remus’s son Joshua, who she called a “gentle giant.” He died on impact.
“The only way they could tell who he was was from his tattoos and fingerprints,” Remus said, visibly shaken. “The officer came to my door and said, ‘Your son was hit very, very, very hard.'”
The crash happened just steps away from Walmart, where Remus has been employed for the past 24 years. She shared that she has not been able to return to work or visit the crash site since. On Friday, she was near the crash site for the interview but could not get close. She stood clutching a photo of her son and grandson.
Josh, named after his father, is 11 years old and wanted to talk about losing his father. He stood holding a picture of him as tears rolled down his cheek.
“We used to go play pinball and go fishing and play video games,” Josh said. “I feel upset.”
Katrina Stone is Josh’s mother and held her son as she fought back tears of her own.
“This man not only drank and drove, but he took my son’s dad away,” Stone cried. “As a mother, I’m supposed to make the boo-boos go away, and this time I can’t.”
3rd person survived, but suffered serious injuries
Family said Michael La Jeunesse and his girlfriend were also inside the Subaru and were both ejected 50 yards on impact. Susann Torres, Michael’s mother, shared that her son’s girlfriend did survive with major injuries, but Michael did not.
“I just didn’t even know what to do, it’s been overwhelming,” Torres cried.
Torres shared more details, including how difficult it was to let go and take her son off life support.
“His brain stem was severed in the back of his head, and he was just never going to wake up again,” Torres sobbed. “I just kept sitting there by his side. I stayed there by his side in the hospital and kept hoping he was going to open his eyes or just say something, but his head injuries were just too severe.”
Michael was an organ donor and Torres said he’s saved four lives already through his donation.
Both families have set up fundraisers to take care of children and other expenses if you’d like to donate. Here is a link to help Michael Torres’ family. Here is a link to help Joshua Remus’ family.
Driver accused of vehicular homicide, DUI
Police say speed and alcohol are factors in the crash. Officers arrested and booked 26-year-old Dustin Kirby into the Larimer County Jail. He faces two counts of DUI vehicular homicide, two counts of reckless driving vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault. He also faces a count of driving under the influence and failure to stop at a red light.
Loveland Police and family members who attended the initial hearing on Jan. 16 say Kirby was released on bond, which is not sitting well with loved ones.
“How can you take somebody’s life like that and just not even have any repercussions, it seems like?” Torres said. “He’s out on bond in one day. It just doesn’t seem fair.”
Their journey for justice is just beginning, but they’re not backing down.
“He did it and he needs to pay for what he did,” Remus said strongly. “I’m devastated, because I just want something done about the people that get drunk and they get in their cars and drive. Think about your actions before you do it.”
Kirby is expected to appear in court in March.