Parents of Stark County Teens Speak Out At Blakey Sentencing - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Parents of Stark County Teens Speak Out At Blakey Sentencing


The driver in the Stark County crash that killed three teens, Morgan Blakey, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday.   

Blakey was 19 years old at the time, he will most likely serve just over ten years of his sentence  

In November of 2011, authorities say Morgan Blakey was driving over 90 miles an hour with a car full of teens when he passed out. The car hit a mailbox, vaulted 100 feet in the air and landed 300 feet off the road. Prosecutors believe Blakey was inhaling aerosols or "huffing," which caused him to pass out.  

16-year old Levi Berg and 18-year old Bradley Wood were pronounced dead at the scene of that crash. 15-year old Kelsey Clifford died later at Kewanee Hospital. 

All three were students at Stark County High School. Two others, including Blakey, were injured in the crash and airlifted to the hospital. 

The parents of Bradley Wood and Kelsey Clifford spoke in court today, sharing memories of their sons and facing the person responsible for their deaths.  

"I'll always remember that day from the time I got off work to the time I left the hospital at midnight, leaving my son there covered up," Angela Deffenbaugh says. She tells TV6 she remembers every detail from the day her son, Bradley, was killed.  

"When the coroner came out and said, ‘I need you to identify a boy,' I went in and sure enough it was Bradley, just lying there like he'd peacefully went to sleep." 

A skateboarder and a donor to causes like 'Locks for Love,' Bradley was killed six months before his graduation.  

"He worked so hard to get to that day, I will never get to see him succeed in his dreams, never see him get married, or have children of his own," Deffenbaugh says. 

With her husband, Dick, behind her, Kathy Clifford talked about her son, Kelsey, and the void he's left in their lives.  

"A parent wants to experience everything with their child, holidays, birthdays, college, first job, weddings, anniversaries and grandchildren," she says, "We will never be able to share any of this with Kelsey." 

"Kelsey and his dad used to go to Casey's for donuts every Sunday morning while I was at church, they would try to eat them before I got home so I wouldn't know," Clifford says, "Now every Sunday, Dick gets them and eats them down at the cemetery by Kelsey's grave." 

Three teens, Levi, Bradley, and Kelsey, now lost from a day of bad decisions. 

"I want to know, do you regret your actions? Are you sorry? Do you have nightmares about that day? Because I do," Deffenbaugh said in court, addressing Blakey. 

"Every time he celebrates Christmas, a birthday, or just sees the sun rise or set, we want him to remember Kelsey can't," Clifford said. 

The mothers shared their stories as a learning lesson for all, so no parent has to lose a child to something like this again.  

"You're not only responsible for yourself in that car, you're responsible for everybody else that's in that car," Deffenbaugh says.

"Life is so precious and it's gone in a second."

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