PHOENIX — Every day Albert Baldapour wakes up with reminders of what he's lost.
His son Romsen's face, permanently fixed in a smile, can be seen captured in photos all over the valley home.
“Romsen was a great kid,” Albert said “He loved sports, he loved his family, he loved to work.”
Romsen just bought a condominium back in January. He had plans to have everyone over for a Super Bowl party.
However, on Jan. 29th, Romsen was killed by a wrong-way driver.
"The emotions are you became numb, you become numb," Albert said. "I was devastated."
Weeks later, Albert learned the driver of the other car, Marshall Wray, had a suspended license. Wray also died in the crash.
"A person like that should not be on the street," Albert said.
This was not Wray's first offense. Documents show a long list of traffic violations from speeding to DUI. Police caught Wray driving with a suspended license at least a half dozen times, but it never kept him from getting behind the wheel.
“Our lives matter, my son matters, this is not a game. You cannot just slap on the hand and say okay move on.” Albert said.
The reality is, driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is 180 days in jail.
“My heart goes out to this family” Jeff Hynes, a Glendale Community College Professor and former Phoenix Police Commander said.
He said officers try and catch these drivers before they hurt someone. He said that the job requires proactive police work which is hard to do with low staffing levels. Even if they catch and arrest a man driving without a license, the punishments might not keep them from reoffending.
“And unfortunately until we as a society increase the punishments on this they are going to keep out and drive again,“ Hynes said.
In this case, Wray's action cost an innocent man his life.
Romsen's family now hopes politicians will make changes to increase punishment or surveillance for habitual offenders to save lives. It cost an innocent man his life. Leaving a family to call for change.
“They make you the leader, so leaders need to take the steps that leaders take and solve problems,” Albert said.
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