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Family of Fred and Mary Lehman offers forgiveness to another driver

Nature

The family of a Des Moines couple killed in a crash at East University is forgiving the driver of the other car involved. The fatal crash happened last night near the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Police say it was one of the worst car crashes they’ve seen in years. “I knew before I talked to a police officer that it was mom and dad,” Lyndsay Lehman said. Lehman is still in shock after losing his mother and father in a horrific car accident Sunday night. “It feels like a dream. You know, it’s just you waiting to wake up. It doesn’t feel real and everything becomes numb,” Lehman said. Des Moines police say it happened in a split second. An 18-year-old driving a Camaro crashed into the passenger side of the Lehmans’ car on University Avenue near the Iowa State Fairgrounds. His name has not been released. They say speed is likely a factor. The force of the crash flipped the Lehmans’ car onto its roof. Fred Lehman, 76, and his wife, Mary Lehman, 79, died instantly. “This is probably one of the worst situations many of us have been in for some time. Regardless, T-bone accidents are probably among the deadliest. And then there were those speeds and that impact there, and it was bad,” said Des Moines police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek.Get the latest headlines from KCCILeman was a minister for most of his life and helped those who couldn’t help themselves. The couple was returning from church before the accident. The family says it’s more than symbolic. “If we have something, that’s good. It is the assurance of knowing that our parents are in heaven with Jesus. And like, we talked as a family, our parents walked out of the church and went straight to heaven that night,” Lehman said. And what’s even more telling is their daughter’s forgiveness for the other teenage driver. “Our thoughts are definitely with this young man. “He’s a man and his family. Some things are worse than death. Although our family is grieving a terrible loss, it’s not something we wish to anyone, regardless of age, but especially a young man,” Lehman said. According to the latest data from the Iowa Department of Transportation, 323 people have died on Iowa roads this year, which is 27 more than at the same time in 2022. Over the past five years, an average of 338 people have been killed every year in accidents statewide. Sunday’s crash resulted in the 15th and 16th traffic-related deaths in Des Moines this year, the release said.

The family of a Des Moines couple killed in a crash at East University is forgiving the driver of the other car involved.

The fatal crash happened last night near the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Police say it was one of the worst car crashes they’ve seen in years.

“I knew before I talked to an officer that it was mom and dad,” Lyndsay Lehman said.

Lehman is still in shock after losing his mother and father in a horrific car accident Sunday night.

“It feels like a dream. You know, it’s just you waiting to wake up. It doesn’t feel real and everything becomes numb,” Lehman said.

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Fred and Mary Lehman were killed in an accident at E. University in Des Moines on November 12, 2023.

Des Moines police say it happened in a split second. An 18-year-old driving a Camaro crashed into the passenger side of the Lehmans’ car on University Avenue near the Iowa State Fairgrounds. His name has not been released. They say speed is likely a factor. The force of the crash flipped the Lehmans’ car onto its roof. Fred Lehman, 76, and his wife, Mary Lehman, 79, died instantly.

“This is probably one of the worst situations many of us have been in for some time. Regardless, T-bone accidents are probably among the deadliest. And then there were these speeds and this impact there, and it was bad,” said Des Moines police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Get the latest headlines from KCCI

Lehman served as a minister for most of his life and helped those who couldn’t help themselves. The couple was returning from church before the accident. The family says it’s more than symbolic.

“If we have something, that’s good. It is the assurance of knowing that our parents are in heaven with Jesus. And we talked as a family, our parents walked out of the church and went straight to heaven that night,” Lehman said.

And what’s even more telling is their daughter’s forgiveness of the other teenage driver.

“Our thoughts are definitely with this young man and his family. Some things are worse than death. Although our family is grieving a terrible loss, this is not something we would wish on anyone, regardless of age, and especially on a young man,” Lehman said.

Des Moines police said they will conduct additional tests before charges are filed.

According to the latest data from the Iowa Department of Transportation, 323 people have died so far this year on Iowa roads. That’s 27 more than the same time in 2022. Over the past five years, an average of 338 people have been killed each year in crashes statewide.

Sunday’s crash resulted in the 15th and 16th traffic-related deaths in Des Moines this year, according to the release.

Nature

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