For many people, the intersection of Indios Avenue and Mountain Vista Street is just part of their daily commute, but for one valley family, it's a place they will never forget.
On Monday, medical examiners identified the bicyclist killed in a crash in the east Las Vegas neighborhood April 28.
The Clark County Coroner's Office said 44-year-old Jason Eckert died from multiple blunt force injuries. He was pronounced dead on April 29 at Sunrise Hospital.
On Monday, drivers passing that intersection saw a powerful message sprayed on the wall with a gaping hole that reads: "Drunk Killed Dad."
“(My grandson) said ‘We were having so much fun today, and everything was perfect until this happened,’” Robert Steffan, the victim’s father-in-law said. “Then he goes ‘I want my daddy.’”
Steffan held back tears as he remembered comforting his eight-year-old grandson, who stood feet away on his bicycle with a front row seat to the DUI crash that killed his father Jason Eckert.
“That was a key part of his life ... anticipating when his father came, and they would go out and do something. So they took a 20-mile bike ride that day.”
Eckert’s son Avaram rode alongside his parents on Mountain Vista that evening, when a car sped towards them, seemingly out of control.
“Way drunk,” Steffan said. “He started to skid 20 feet before the stop sign.”
An investigation into the crash is ongoing, police said.
“Jason’s body was crushed onto the hood of the car,” Steffan said. “Then he was hurled through the street.”
Steffan said Eckert’s helmet split in two and believed he died instantly. The driver, Danesmin Solis-Cortez was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and was arrested.
“We put the graffiti up for him [Avaram].” “I’m okay with that.”
Neighbors were okay with it too and said they hoped the writing has a deep impact on the community.
“People have been stopping all afternoon,” said one neighbor. “They slow down and look at that wall. It’s just terrible, it makes you afraid to go anywhere.”
Through their grieving, Eckert's family took solace in knowing Eckert’s final moments lead to saving other lives through organ donation.
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