FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The family of a Northern Colorado man who was killed in a hit-and-run collision is calling for the maximum sentence for the suspect in court. Joe Kroiss, 38, was killed Thursday morning near Interstate 25 and Harmony Road.
The suspect, Kassy Winburn, 34, allegedly hit his motorcycle from behind. Colorado State Patrol said Winburn was intoxicated at the time of the collision, one of many DUI charges she has on her criminal record.
Colorado court records show multiple DUI charges on Winburn’s record. In 2015 she pleaded guilty in her role in a multi-vehicle crash that killed a Loveland resident. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Winburn was not a stranger to their jail.
“Somedays I am furious. Sometimes I feel saddened,” said Erica Kroiss, the victim’s widow.
In an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Dillon Thomas, Kroiss said her husband was riding home from surveying a potential property the family was considering purchasing. He was wearing his helmet when Winburn’s vehicle rammed him from behind.
Kroiss said she was heartbroken by the loss. However, she said knowing the suspect had a history of driving impaired made the pain even worse.
“It was totally preventable,” Kroiss said.
Joe Kroiss left behind his wife and four young daughters.
“I’m not going to see my dad anymore,” Kaitlynn Stier, Kroiss’ daughter, said.
Colorado State Patrol said Winburn exited her vehicle and ran from the scene. She was later tracked down and arrested.
“It is selfish. It really is selfish,” Erica said.
Erica said she wanted to know how Winburn was able to get back on the road so easily. Just 16 days prior to the fatal crash, Winburn was cited for driving with a suspended license.
“This lady didn’t have a wake-up call. And, it’s changed a lot of people’s lives,” Kroiss said. “Something needs to change.”
Kroiss’ family said they are of the understanding that his wounds claimed his life quickly.
Left with memories, Kroiss’ family said they would always remember him for being a loving father and husband.
“He was goofy,” Erica said. “He loved cars, motorcycles, dirt bikes. Loved his snowmobile, chainsaws. Anything with a motor, he was into it.”
Erica said her husband was proud to be the father of four daughters, and enjoyed annoying them in a way only a father could.
“They were his world,” Erica said. “He was proud of them, and loved them with his whole heart.”
The family hoped Winburn would receive a maximum sentence for her alleged actions. However, they did say they were heartbroken to learn she was a mother. They hoped the children would be able to have a solid support system during the tough time, and wished their mother’s actions would encourage them not to drink and drive as well.
While they await Joe Kroiss’ funeral and the court proceedings, family said they will deeply miss their loved one.
“I love him so much, I am never going to disappoint him,” Stier said.
“I love him. And, I am so grateful for the time we did have. He will be proud of us at the end of the day. He will be proud,” Erica said.
You can help the family pay for funeral, and other, expenses.