Haskell County Family Seeks Justice In Deadly Motorcycle Crash
QUINTON, Oklahoma -- A Quinton family is seeking justice after a deadly motorcycle crash last year.
Marty Sustaire and his nephew, Jacob, were riding their motorcycles when a truck crashed into them. Marty was killed. Jacob lived but his leg was amputated after enduring nearly 30 surgeries. Their family is hoping for the best when the case goes to trial next month.
Marty's family says he was their rock, a man who knew the Bible inside and out, who loved to ride motorcycles, but lived for his three children and 10 grandchildren.
Marty Sustaire had gone to a family dinner on Mother's day last year, then mowed the yard and decided it was a pretty evening for a ride. He called his nephew Jacob and they headed toward Lake Eufaula on their motorcycles.
But, only 15 minutes into the trip the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a truck crossed the center line and slammed into Jacob first. The report says the impact threw him 80 feet.
"I remember flying into the air, trying to get up," Jacob said.
His leg was ripped off and he now has a prosthetic from the knee down. His uncle Marty was killed. Their family got word of it and drove to the scene.
"We sat there with him until they took him to the funeral home," said Debbie Sustaire, Marty's wife.
Debbie and Marty were married 34 years. She says he had a deep faith in God, went to the coffee shop every morning in Quinton, and put his family first.
"My grandchildren have to grow up without their grandfather. the smaller ones won't remember him," Debbie said.
Barry Needham was the driver of the truck. He's also from Quinton. He wasn't arrested that night, but after blood results came back that showed meth in his system, he was charged with manslaughter, DUI, driving left of center and without insurance verification.
He has pleaded not guilty.
The family hopes Needham's family ties to law enforcement won't affect the fairness of the trial.
"I just want justice. Justice for Jacob whose life has forever been changed and our lives who are devastated by this," Debbie said.
They say what makes them angry, is there seems to be no remorse for the crash and all the devastation it's caused.
They are determined to keep Marty's memory alive. They wear necklaces with Marty's picture etched on it; Jacob and Marty's sons got memorial tattoos and Marty's brother wears Marty's ashes around his neck.
Another thing Marty's family doesn't understand is why Needham still has a valid driver's license.
The Department of Public safety says licenses are suspended after a DUI arrest, because they know the suspect has more than the legal limit in their system. But with drugs, you don't know the amount, so a license wouldn't be suspended until after a conviction.
Needham's trial is set for February 06, 2012.