GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bernard Langmeyer and his wife Deborah had just left a family wedding in Grand Rapids Saturday afternoon and were headed home to Deerfield in Lenawee County, about 20 miles north of the Ohio border.
“We recently lost our mother, and this was the first time the entire family was together and he was a very happy man,” said Bernard’s sister, Kaye Langmeyer.
Bernard never made it home.
A flat tire forced him to the side of I-196 near Hudsonville. As he and his wife waited for assistance, their car was struck from behind, killing Bernard and injuring Deborah.
The driver of the vehicle that hit the Langmeyers, 46-year-old Richard Rish, of Lakeview, is expected to be charged with felony death by drunk driving as early as Tuesday — according to Sgt. Brian Buter from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.
Rish’s driving record shows his license was suspected for one month in 2008.
“So much to say, I don’t even have the words right now,” Kaye told 24 Hour News 8. “I just don’t understand how people can get behind the wheel after drinking.”
Bernard has spent the better part of two decades as a driver for UPS before he retired about six months ago.
“He was just beginning to enjoy his life. So, that just makes it all the harder,” said his sister. “It makes it all that more ironic that he put his life on the line over the road all those years, then to be killed like this.”
Rish’s bond has been set at $50,000.
Bernard’s wife was also injured in the crash. Family members say she has been released from the hospital.