Hancock Co. man seeks justice in DUI death of son

L to R: Patrick Vosbein and Chris Vosbein
L to R: Patrick Vosbein and Chris Vosbein
R to L: Patrick Vosbein and his fiance.
R to L: Patrick Vosbein and his fiance.

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Hancock County man said justice is being denied in the manslaughter DUI case that took the life of his son.

The accident happened in Clearwater, Florida in December of 2011. Since that time the Vosbein family said a trial date has been pushed back several times. It's been nearly two years of painful waiting for the family.

Twenty-six-year-old Patrick Vosbein left Hancock County to be with the girl he was planning to marry. he got a job in Pinellas County, Florida and had recently become engaged.

"He had a bright future ahead of him and it was all taken away from him in a blink of an eye," said the victim's father Chris Vosbein.

Vosbein said his son Patrick was in the back seat of his bosses car on a winding road in Pinellas County when a parent's worst nightmare happened.

"When the guy lost control he was going over a 100 miles an hour, he lost control of his vehicle hit a utility pole. And that's when my son was ejected from the back seat through the front windshield and ended up on the front hood with massive brain trauma," explained Vosbein.

Vosbein said his son was in a coma for three days before he died.

"Things didn't look good. They didn't even expect him to make it through the night, but he did fight for three days which were the worst three days of my life," said Vosbein.

Police charged 32-year-old Garret Bruce with DUI manslaughter. But nearly two years have passed and the case has yet to go to trial.

"How is it that people can get DUI's and get convicted on very short notice and my son gets killed in a DUI manslaughter case and here it is drug on for two years. How is it possible that anyone can convince this judge to pro-long this agony and suffering any longer when all we want is justice for our son so we can have some since of closure," said Vosbein.

He said since the accident happened he and Patrick's mother have traveled to Florida for five pre-trial hearings. The actual trial was supposed to start last week. But Vosbein said it never happened. And it may never happen. The suspect may be given a chance to enter a plea bargain agreement.

"They're trying to pawn off some of the blame on Patrick because he wasn't wearing his seat belt they're saying it was his responsibility to wear the seat belt and he was drinking as well as the driver, but he had a toxicology report also, but he was not drunk he only had a couple of drinks. And he was no where near the limit. Where as the driver was way over the limit," explained Vosbein.

Meanwhile it's been a tough 20 months for Vosbein, who can only think of the good times he spent raising his son.

"I have a 12-year-old son now that every time he does things like catches a football or rolls around in the grass it brings back the memories of my son Patrick of how he use to do the same things. Till the day I die on my dying bed I will never forget my son Patrick and the joy he brought to my life," he said.

Vosbein said the Pinellas County District Attorney told him the reason for the delays is they are dotting the "I's" and crossing the "T's" to make sure there are no reasons for a mistrial.

Another pre-trial hearing is scheduled for October 17.

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