Family grieves loss of son killed before graduation in suspected DUI crash

By  | 

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - "We’re doing our best to keep it together," Mason Peters told 11 News.

A picture of Michael Finley as part of the memorial set-up near the crash site.

His son Michael Finley, an 18-year-old senior, was supposed to graduate from Falcon High School this weekend. His whole life stood before him when tragedy struck last month. Finley was killed by a suspected drunk driver on his way to meet up with friends.

"He would be graduating this Saturday. We just got his cap and gown yesterday, which was hard on us," said Peters.

The alleged driver, 52 year-old Michael Fay, was in court Monday.

The crash happened last month near Woodmen and Highway 24 in Falcon. State Patrol said Fay was turning left from Woodmen onto Golden Sage Road and hit the teen's vehicle.

"One if our daughters showed up at our house, and she said, 'Hey, there's been a bad accident on Woodmen Road,'" Peters recalled. "My wife decided to go into the house to get her keys, and she turned around and looked and said, 'I'm gonna go up there and see what's going on,' because she hadn't heard from Michael.

"Sadly enough we all got in the car and went to the accident scene. I can't even go into detail to describe to you how I felt, how we all felt at that moment."

Fay is facing DUI vehicular homicide charges.

The victim's family wants everyone to learn from this tragedy.

"When poor choices are made, it can potentially affect people," Peters said. "And it's affected our family, and it's affected our community."

Since the crash, the community has rallied around Finley's family. The Culver's restaurant where he worked was packed for a recent fundraiser.

"He was well-liked, played football, he did numerous, numerous things that were outstanding," Peters added. “We are thankful to our community and we are thankful to everybody that has come to our aid during this time. It’s phenomenal the amount of people that have come together in our community."

The GoFundMe page set up for Finley's funeral expenses has raised more than $20,000. Click here for the GoFundMe page.

The preliminary hearing was continued on Monday. The lawyers just got the blood alcohol results and want more time to look over the case. Those results have not been announced yet.

Fay is still in jail right now and being held on a $25,000 bond.

We checked and back in 1993 the suspect was pulled over twice in just two weeks for DUI. But in one case he pleaded down to a lesser charge, and the other case was dismissed.

Fay is due back in court in June. We'll let you know what happens.

Outside the courtroom, the family hopes no one else has to lose a loved one to alcohol.

"What we want is the community to come together and heighten the awareness of the severity of drinking and driving," Peters said.