Medical Examiner's report released after double fatal New Year's Day crash
NEW BERLIN -- The Medical Examiner's report has been released after a double fatal crash early New Year's Day near 27th and St. Paul. Police say the crash occurred around 6:00 a.m. Sunday, when a 17-year-old driver, driving at a high rate of speed, struck a median and his vehicle went airborne, slamming into the vehicle driven by Edwin Thaves, killing Edwin and his wife, Jean Thaves.
The report says 61-year-old Edwin and 52-year-old Jean had just left Potawatomi Bingo Casino and were stopped at a red light on St. Paul. They were about to get on the freeway to head to their home in New Berlin when they were T-boned by the 17-year-old driver. The report says the crash was witnessed by a citizen, and captured on video from a building nearby.
Officials say the 17-year-old fled the scene on foot, and was later arrested at a nearby relative's house in Milwaukee.
The Thaves' New Berlin neighbors said Monday they're shocked after this holiday weekend incident. "In this community, everyone is pretty close-knit, everyone knows everyone, everybody walks their dogs and everybody says hi so it was very tragic," said neighbor Charles Rangel on Monday. "Sometimes, it's tragic to find out that some of the times when we draw near to each other is when a death or something horrible like this happens. It makes everything surreal."
Dawn Menges, another neighbor of the couple, says she feels awful for the family of the victims. "I can't imagine the depth of it all, what they are feeling today, but I know all if the neighbors here express their deepest sympathies," said Menges.
Both Edwin and Jean worked at S.C. Chemical Company in Muskego. Edwin is listed as the company's president and founder. According to the company's website, the S.C. in Thaves' company's name stands for "Serving Christ." Thaves wanted the name to reflect his reliance on the Lord to guide and direct the business.
Police haven't yet released the name of the 17-year-old suspect, and formal charges are yet to be filed.
The family of the 17-year-old suspect says he's the father of an eight month old child. FOX6's Jeremy Ross visited the listed home of the 17-year-old and spoke with relatives Monday. Because the suspect hasn't yet been charged, FOX6 is not identifying the family. Ross spoke with an individual who says he's the cousin of the suspect. "I know my cousin, and I know he feels bad. I can't even imagine what's going through his head," the suspect's cousin said.
Family members tell FOX6 after the crash, the suspect went to a nearby relative's house, where he was later arrested. A cousin says the suspect had no recollection of the fatal crash. "I feel sorry for those families going through that too, and he made a bad decision, and our family's dealing with it too," the suspect's cousin said.
According to court records, the 17-year-old suspect was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol this past summer, but has no adult criminal record. Charges could be filed as early as Tuesday.