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Bismarck, MO

Family Deals with Tragedy After Crash

Family Deals with Tragedy After Crash
By: Holly Brantley

BISMARCK, Mo. - A Heartland family waits to see if the man allegedly responsible for the death of their loved ones will serve time.

Peter and Susan Aubuchon were killed while riding their motorcycle in Stoddard County.

Authorities charged 21-year-old Jason Merrill with manslaughter. Those charges allege Merrill was driving drunk when his car crossed the center line and hit the couple head on.

It's a double blow for the Aubuchon family.  Not only are they grieving for their loved ones killed only days ago.  They also have to wait through the legal process hoping to see Merrill behind bars for a very long time.

"Pete and Susie were great people," said Peter Aubuchon's brother, Mike Aubuchon. "He'd only bought the motorcycle this spring.  He'd taken a class.  I knew it wasn't his fault.  We'd just like to know what was going on in the car when it happened.  Eye witnesses said Peter and Susan were trying to get out of the way and he just kept coming."

Mike Aubuchon said the whole ordeal has been very difficult.  Peter and Susan's son just had a baby six weeks ago.

"It's left a spot in our hearts," said Aubuchon. "We just want some justice done. We can't bring them back, but we can't let this boy get away with it."

The family said they'll be in the courtroom to attend the hearing next month.

Jason Merrill was arrested on a probation violation.  He is charged as a prior and persistent offender.

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