(Desoto County, MS) “Greg was my soul mate. He was my best friend. We were high school sweet hearts,” says widow Jeri Smith.
Pictures are all Smith has left of her husband of almost 12 years
Her nightmare started July 17th at a rural intersection in DeSoto County, “We were excited about riding. It was a beautiful day.”
Smith says a truck, coming in the other direction, never even slowed down, “He went to turn and he hit us. My husband died instantly.”
Mrs. Smith, barely alive, would spend months in the hospital.
The man who hit them, 20-year-old Adam Etlicher, was arrested.
Etlicher’s license had already been suspended. he was not supposed to be behind the wheel.
“No license. No insurance and it wasn’t even his vehicle,” says Smith.
What angers Mrs. Smith even more is a day after the accident, Etlicher was out of jail. “He spends one night in jail and that’s it. Something is not right there.”
The Smith’s daughter, Jennifer Brewington, says it’s a slap in the face, “It literally disgusts me that he could do this.”
Desoto County’s Prosecutor said since Etlicher was not under the influence at the time of the Smith’s accident, there was no reckless intent.
The only crime was driving without license and insurance, for which he paid a fine.
“We have to look at the facts, was it an accident or was it a criminal act with drugs or alcohol. From what I understand in this case, there was none of that here,” says Champion.
Etlicher’s attorney declined an interview, but told us by phone his client was not impaired and it was a simple accident.
But WREG On Your Side Investigators combed through the documents.
Records show Etlicher told police he had consumed alcohol before the collision and taken Loritab, which contains Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen.
The detective on the scene saids Adam Etlicher’s eyes appeared bloodshot and glassy.
The report says Etlicher consented to a blood specimen test, but those results have not being released.
After we questioned Desoto County Sheriff’s officials, they said they are now reviewing the case.
The Smiths say Etlicher “was” reckless for getting behind the wheel without a license.
Jeri Smith has undergone five surgeries and said her medical bills have ballooned to more that a million dollars.
She still can’t walk on her own, while Adam Etlicher walks free.
She and her daughter are now pushing the message of motorcycle safety and hoping to strengthen Mississippi laws, “To me there are better laws for animals. The laws need to be stiffer, maybe they will think twice before they go out there and drive.”
Jeri Smith still wants to know why Adam Etlicher was driving without a license, even after she says he was ticketed earlier for the same thing.
Now she is considering a lawsuit, hoping the courts will make him pay for her pain and suffering.