WARSAW — The following is the victim impact statement read by Michael Conrad, regarding the death of his mother, Kim, and brother, Stephen Conrad. The statement was read prior to the sentencing of Mickgomery Hisey, Syracuse, Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 17.
“The year 2016 was a year of our highest highs and our lowest lows. My wife and I moved back to Syracuse to be closer to family and friends. We welcomed our first child and our families’ first grandchild into the family and were getting ready to celebrate our first Christmas as parents.
“It was a year of a little different schedule on Dec. 25 due to the new addition to the family. Upon finishing up a Christmas supper at my aunt’s house, we had one more item on the agenda, family Christmas at my house. Little did I know this would be the last time I would see my mother and brother alive.
“This was the first Christmas with our new baby and all were excited to exchange gifts and laughter. My younger brother, my wife and my daughter all left shortly before my dad, mom and older brother. They had to run to my parent’s house real quick to pick up gifts. We waited patiently with excitement for their arrival. We spent hours preparing food and gifts. While waiting, I heard sirens while letting out the dog and didn’t think anything of it.
“Shortly before that, we received a text from my mother that they were on the way and would be there in 15 minutes. We waited about 30-45 minutes and started to get a little worried. We tried to text my brother and mother a few times with no reply. After about an hour of them being late, I looked at the news and saw my mother’s car smashed.
“I knew it was their vehicle and called the police to find out where my family members would be taken. They told me three people were transported to Fort Wayne. I had hope, as I knew there were three people in my mother’s car. I would have never thought they would have been killed at the intersection where they were hit, speed limits are not substantial and there are multiple stop signs in the area. Road conditions were good, so I was confused as to how this could have happened.
“I met my brother at my parent’s house so we could head to the hospital to see the family involved in the crash. When pulling in, I saw a police car in their drive and didn’t think much of it. When I went in the house, I saw my younger brother with a lost look on his face. The deputy coroner then told me that there was an accident and Kimberly and Stephen Conrad II died on the scene and my father was on his way to Fort Wayne. I yelled, I cried, I didn’t know what to do. Two of the most beautiful people in the world were taken from me in an instant.
“Stephen Conrad II was a man of many talents. He was kind, caring, loving, trustworthy, funny and a young man with a bright future. He had a love and passion for golf and accomplished more than many ever will on a golf course. He worked tirelessly helping others get better at the sport he loved to play. Growing up with Stephen, I found myself looking up to him and aspiring to be like him. He was a great role mode and I was fortunate to have the 29 years of life I got to spend with him.
“Kimberly Conrad was the most giving, caring, selfless, hardest working, loving, best teacher, best coach and best parent one could ask for in a person. She went above and beyond on any task assigned to her. She just retired from teaching after so many years and focused her time on real estate, where I was her teammate and helped her throughout the year. She was a best friend to many and a friend to thousands.
“Life since the crash has been difficult in many different aspects. Every day we wake up, we are reminded of the reality that Stephen and Kimberly were killed in such a senseless way. I drive by the crash site every day on my way to work and on my way home and wonder how someone could be killed at that location. I see their photos in the news and their beautiful faces bring comfort to only then feel my heart ripped out, as I am sent back to reality of them being dead.
“I’m thankful we live in a community where they had such a large impact, and in turn, the support we have received has helped tremendously. I think about the thousands of individuals who showed up to the funeral to celebrate the lives of my mother and brother. That truly shows how many lives these beautiful people touched.
“My daughter lost a grandma, uncle, coach, teacher, friend and so much more. My mother was ecstatic when she found out we were having a girl. After raising three boys of her own, she finally had a granddaughter. My daughter was robbed of a future with one of her grandmas who she would have learned so much from. Stephen and Kim enjoyed shopping together to find gifts for her. She lost so much on Christmas Day.
“I often think about my father who had a beautiful marriage of 39 years, and last June, he would have been married 40 years. In January we missed my mom on her birthday. We missed my mother on Mother’s Day. Last week we missed my brother on his birthday.
“Why did one individual’s carelessness and recklessness have to take so much from my family? My father has been tasked with trying to figure out everything that was in my mother’s head. He has been robbed of retirement and will now continue to work to support himself. Shortly after the accident, after dinner with my father, I had to watch him walk up to an empty house by himself. I think about having to live in the house alone. What did he do to deserve this?
“You’ll notice that I didn’t use the word accident one time. The actions that led to these events, if altered or stopped, could have easily prevented such a tragedy. We all know drinking and driving lead to this. Speeding up a hill on the wrong side of the road into an area filled with multiple stop signs, in my mind, would usually result in a crash. The lack of responsibility, and the sheer neglect of multiple traffic laws, led to where we are today. The individual who is responsible for taking the lives of two innocent, beautiful people should pay the maximum penalty allowed and should take that time to better himself as an individual. Hopefully, after some reflection, he could venture out into the world and better the lives of the thousands of people my mother and brother hadn’t touched yet.”