Amanda Annette Ferguson-Weyant (Mandy)
July 21, 1990- November 22, 2018
Mandy was walking across a street with the green light in a crosswalk on Thanksgiving morning. She was hit and killed by an illegal alien named Joel Velasquez after he had spent the night drinking at a bar he worked at (illegally). Joel (whom has no driving license/etc.) ran 2 red lights hitting my daughter and throwing her some 60 feet. He never stopped to try to render aid. My girl died on the scene with her legs broken in 8 places, 10 broken ribs which punctured her lungs and 5 skull fractures. They would not even let me see her at the morgue.
The car that killed my girl was found 3 blocks away, and Joel was caught 2 days later and charged with leaving a scene of an accident with a death, tampering with evidence (he threw 6 beers out the window and told the cops that someone had stolen the car) and manslaughter.
I later found out he was here illegally and deported back in 2012. He reentered the US again (a felony) and was arrested for aggravated assault in early 2018. The judge allowed him to post bond without calling ICE. IF they would have made one phone call after the assault arrest, I feel my daughter would be alive today. He applied for a bail reduction in my daughters’ case but luckily, I knew an ICE agent and had a detainer order placed on him. He sits in jail waiting for a trial.
He has been allowed 3 public defenders because he didn’t like the first two. Of course, the judge grants his every wish. Trial is now set for January 2020. The most he could get is 20 years (10 with probation) but he has told the DA he cannot do double digits. Sadly, a case just like ours concluded in the person getting only 10 years of probation. Yet, we all have been given a life sentence with no parole.
I read a lot on grief. How with time you will learn to get out of the chair and move on. To once again function like a normal person. In my version, I find grief like quicksand. You slowly sink deeper and deeper. You try not to struggle and follow all the rules that you have learned throughout your life, but you still sink deeper with every breath. You try to reach for a branch, but they are too far away. Eventually (with time) you will be completely under. The collateral damage from our losses are just as real as the deaths. Marriage, family, work, friends are all changed permanently. We all suffer from a crime that should have been avoided. —Danny Ferguson