Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dad charged with drunk driving causing death of 19-year-old son (Rockford, Illinois)

Such a sad case. This is what happens when we tell young people that your "real father" isn't the one who walked you down the halls at night when you couldn't sleep, or taught you how to hit a baseball, or dutifully paid for all your piano lessons. Oh no. Your "real father"--so we're told--is some sperm donor who once slept with your mother and than disappeared because he couldn't be bothered to commit to you or your mom. So we have this teenage boy who feels driven to find his "real father," who turns out to be nothing but a deadbeat and neglectful alcoholic and drug addict. So what happens? "Real father" TODD BENOIT kills his son in a alcohol-fueled car crash. Nice way to get reacquainted, Dad. Sometimes moms aren't so dumb or deluded when they discourage these relationships. There may be a very good reason.


Rockford father charged with drunken driving causing death of son, 19
By John Agar The Grand Rapids Press
December 08, 2009, 7:57AM

KENT COUNTY -- A Rockford man is charged with drunken driving in a crash that killed his 19-year-old son.

Todd Benoit, 36, turned himself in to authorities Saturday on a charge of drunken driving causing death, a 15-year felony, records showed.

He was driving Oct. 3 when he allegedly pulled into the path of a pickup that struck the front passenger door, killing Derrick "Ricky" Holstege, 19.

Holstege had been adopted by his mother's husband, Leonard Holstege, at an early age, and only recently became acquainted with Benoit, his biological father, his family said.

His mother, Tamara Holstege, of Wyoming, had feared Benoit would be a bad influence on her son and kept Benoit away until her son reached adulthood and could make his own decision about having a relationship with his biological father.

Benoit, released from Kent County Jail pending court action, had previous convictions for unlawful blood-alcohol content and use of marijuana, records showed.

On Oct. 3, police said, he was driving north on White Creek Avenue NE when he stopped for a red flashing light at 17 Mile Road, then pulled into the path of a westbound pickup that had a flashing yellow light.

Holstege was a 2008 graduate of Covenant Christian High School and planned to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.