MUSKEGON, Mich. — A West Michigan family says a tragedy could have been avoided if a suspected drunk driver had stopped and thought before getting behind the wheel.
Melissa Nash and her fiancé, Justin Ducham, were killed in a crash early Saturday morning on N Maple Island Road in Holton Township.
Authorities say 25-year-old Cody Loomis crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision with the couple’s vehicle. He is facing multiple charges for operating while under the influence causing death, and has two prior convictions on drunk driving charges.
“This guy who before he got behind the wheel was thinking of himself,” said Lori Hobson, Ducham’s aunt. “We have to get awareness out there that if you decide to make poor choices and drink pick the phone up, give the keys to someone else before you get behind that wheel.
Nash’s brother, Joe Nash, says he lost a sister and a great friend in Ducham because of another person’s bad decision.
Family members describe the couple as having a storybook love, two very special people who complimented each other in every way.
“I never seen two people ever who were so good for each other and complimented each other and I was proud of both of them," says Dave Ducham, Justin's dad.
Justin Ducham was one day shy of celebrating his 40th birthday. Melissa Nash had two children the couple was raising together, and Ducham was looking forward to being their step dad.
“That’s the real tragedy here is two kids lost their home, their life, a step dad and a mother. And their life is never going to be the same ever again,” Dave Ducham said.
It's a tragedy the family says could have easily been prevented.
“Stop and think, give those keys to someone else. Call a driver, call Uber, call a friend. Don’t ruin lives or your own life,” said Hobson.
Their wedding was supposed to be in October. Funeral services for Nash and Ducham will be held at Port City Church Thursday at 11 a.m.
Loomis is being held on a $500,000 bond.