MONTPELIER, Ind. (WXIN) — Family and neighbors are mourning the loss of an Indiana man and his young great-grandson who were killed when a suspected drunk driver plowed through a home and into a porch filled with people.
Jerry “Jake” Michael, 74, and Jenson Reynolds, 5, were killed on June 2, after a driver veered off a street in Montepelier, drove through the backyard, crashed into the back of the house and exited through the front porch.
Two other people were hurt, including Jenson’s young sister and the children’s father. Both were airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital.
“The grandpa, Jake, the one that got killed, they was all super nice over there,” said neighbor Jamie Winningham. “If you needed anything they would help.”
Police arrested Brandi Bare, 46, after witnesses at the scene identified her as the driver. According to court documents, police said her speech was slurred, her eyes were bloodshot, and she smelled of alcohol.
Bare also slipped out of a squad car shortly after police placed her in the back, and tried to flee before officers caught up with her, according to a police affidavit.
Bare is charged with two counts each of causing death when driving while intoxicated, reckless homicide and causing serious bodily injury when driving while intoxicated.
As of Tuesday morning, Bare was still an inmate at the Blackford County Jail. But her bond had been set at $5,000 — something that doesn’t sit well with Jerry Michael, the son of Jake and the uncle of Jenson.
“She has a $5,000 bond. Is that all my family is worth?” Michael asked. “She destroyed a family. She killed my dad, killed my nephew. It should have never happened.”
Supporters of the Michael family held a protest Monday at the city hall in Hartford City, WANE reported. They called for the $5,000 bond to be revoked.
“We’re hurting,” Jenson’s uncle Braxton told WANE. “It’s amazing this whole community came together … I have no words. It’s just unbelievable.
A Change.org petition was also started to revoke Bare’s bond. As of Wednesday morning, it had more than 9,000 signatures.
“We’re tough, were made of steel … We might bend but we ain’t gonna break,” said Jerry Michael.