PHOENIX — A Valley man is now paralyzed and remains in the hospital with other injuries after being hit on his motorcycle by an alleged drunk driver.
Jeff Deweese, 32, was identified by family members as the victim of a crash near 52nd Street and McDowell Road last Sunday. According to Phoenix police, 29-year-old Alfred Brown was reportedly driving southbound on 52nd Street from McDowell Road at a high rate of speed when he struck a slower moving 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle in front of him.
Deweese, who was not wearing a helmet, sustained severe injuries after being hit by the other driver, according to police.
"He was the light of our life, and his life is forever changed," said Jeanette Miller, Deweese's grandmother. "Probably everybody in the family's life is forever changed."
The family has started a GoFundMe pageto help cover costs. They say Deweese is paralyzed in the lower half of his body, hooked up to tubes and faces an uphill battle.
"His injuries are so severe...he had to have brain surgery," Miller said.
Brown now faces a charge of aggravated assault. Phoenix police told ABC15 the investigation is ongoing, and they are awaiting toxicology results, but they believe alcohol was involved.
According to court documents, after the crash, a portable breathalyzer test was used, and Brown's blood alcohol content registered .192 and Brown allegedly admitted to consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Documents also state that investigators estimated Brown's speed in excess of 64-miles-per-hour. ABC15 found a posted speed limit sign in the area of 40 miles-per-hour.
"How you can be that inebriated on a Sunday morning, that early..." Miller wondered.
Deweese's family says he is expected to remain at Maricopa Medical Center while he recovers.
"He wanted to have kids and get married," said an emotional Miller.
The family also hopes this case is a reminder not to drink and drive.
"Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, you have all those things coming up and just don't drink and drive," Miller said. "(Jeffery) loved snowboarding. So much of his life is now changed and gone."
ABC15 has requested a jailhouse interview with Brown, who remains in custody.