Father speaks out after daughter killed while trying to change tire

Father speaks out after daughter killed while trying to change tire

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A family continues to grieve the tragic loss of a loved killed on the side of the road. Harry Boomer is the only reporter they wanted to tell their story.

A breakdown on the side of a busy highway is in itself traumatic for anyone. But, for the Matthews family, it turned into a nightmare when their loved one was hit and killed.
"Tanisha was 27 years old, full of life... bubbly."

Tanisha Matthews went from a happy mother of two to tragedy. She was killed while changing a tire on Interstate 480 westbound between State and Ridge Roads.

"From a distance we could see that it was a terrible accident about a mile ahead.  Harry, I had no idea, non-whatsoever, no clue that was Tanisha in that accident," said Simmie McFarland, Matthews' father. 

McFarland was coming from his grandson's football game in Berea.  He spotted a big accident scene about a mile away, traffic was backing up.  It took about 40 minutes. That's when he got a dreaded phone call about his daughter, her two children and her sister.

"They were going out to dinner and her two kids were in the car with her. It's just sad," said McFarland.

So was her sister Asiah, who was also struck.  She spent several days in the hospital.

"No father or mother should have to go through what we went through at the likes of the individual that hit here.

Fortunately, a Good Samaritan was able to follow the hit/skip driver as he took the Ridge Road exit off of I-480.  Police surrounded him and arrested.

"I don't have no hatred or animosity toward the individual but he truly hurt me. He did. Am I angry? Yeah, yeah," said McFarland.

"It breaks my heart to even see my sister going through this."

It's going to take time for Tanisha's aunt, Von, to forgive or forget.

"He knew he had no business on that road.  He knew it.  That's all I can feel for him right now is hatred," said McFarland.

"We all feel very bad, sad. Why her, why her."

Earlier this month 48-year-old Clark Justen pleaded not guilty of vehicular homicide, possession of heroin and improper handling of a firearm. He is being held on a $350,000 bond.

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