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Family Tragedy After Wife Of 50 Years Killed By Drunk Driver

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A photo of Bill and Sandy Marvel from Sandy's photo album. (Marvel Family Photo)

A photo of Bill and Sandy Marvel from Sandy’s photo album. (Marvel Family Photo)

Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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ST. JOHN, Ind. (CBS) — In a heart-break for a Northwest Indiana family, a husband has lost his wife in a drunk-driving accident, just six weeks before a milestone wedding anniversary.

In November, Sandy and Bill Marvel would have celebrated 50 years of marriage.

They married when Sandy was 16.

“She was just born to be a mother,” Bill Marvel told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot. “She loved her kids and grand kids and she mothered them, even the adult grand kids.”

As Bill talks about Sandy, tears stream down his bruised face. Just eight hours before a car crash would claim Sandy’s life, she mailed out invitations for the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary party.

On Saturday, after leaving church, they were at the intersection of U.S. 41 and 109th Avenue in St. John, Ind.

Lake County Police say Michael Knezevich was drunk when he ran a red light and hit the Marvels.

“The impact was so much that it drove the passenger side, I think the actual passenger side came over to the driver side and hit me,” Marvel said

Lake County police say Knezevich was driving with a valid license at the time of the crash.

However, he has had three arrests for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and three for driving while his license was suspended.

He is now charged with reckless homicide while operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Now the celebration of 50 years of marriage planned for November may become a moment to honor the memory of a woman who meant so much to her husband, three grown children and everyone who knew her.

Sadly, this is the second time the Marvel family has been impacted by an impaired driver.

In the 1980s, their son was severely injured in a crash involving a person who was high on drugs.

Knezevich remains in the Lake County Indiana Jail. His bond is set at $60-thousand dollars.

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