Family Of Plumber Killed In Crash Hopes For Justice

Man Police Say Is Responsible For Crash Still At Large

YODER, Colo. - The family of a plumber killed in a crash is hoping for help finding the man police say is responsible.

The deadly accident happened Monday on North Nevada Avenue in Colorado Springs. Police said Mark Meschelle and Ken Baker, both from Allied Plumbing, were unloading equipment from their van when a man driving an SUV crashed into two parked cars and pinned the men against their vehicle.

Baker, 44, remains in the hospital with two broken shins and Meschelle, 46, died from his injuries.

"He was a very kind and loving man," said Meschelle's mother-in-law Jamie Fraijo. "He cherished his family."

Meschelle had just become a grandfather and had three kids of his own. The youngest, Love, is 9.

"He was always very funny, he always made everyone laugh," said Love. "He would always take me to basketball and all my sports."

She and her family are now hoping for justice for the man who meant so much to them. On Thursday, police identified the person responsible for the crash as habitual traffic offender Michael Stephen Benton, 32. They said he took off after the accident and the woman driving with him lied about what happened.

"The person who did it, he should step up and say the right thing," said Love.

"He needs to learn he's destroyed an entire family and needs to step up and pay the consequences for his actions," said Meschelle's sister-in-law Marsha Fraijo.

According to court records, Benton has been cited three times for driving with a suspended license and charged with DUI and assault.

"I really, honestly, don't expect him to step forward," said Michael Fraijo, Meschelle's nephew. "I wish he would, but I'm hoping Colorado and Colorado Springs will help us find him. That's the only way we're going to get him. Justice needs to be served."

Police said Benton could be staying at a local hotel and driving a white dodge neon. Call Colorado Springs police with any information at 719-444-7000.

There are accounts set up for Mark Meschelle and Ken Baker at Academy Bank. The account number for Meschelle is 3896021 (under Honey Meschelle) and Ken Baker's account number is 3853132.

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