SHELBY -- Any sense of closure will continue to have to wait for Shelby resident Josh Boggs.
A recent 27-count criminal indictment against the allegedly impaired driver who slammed into his van nine months ago, killing two of his daughters and his unborn child, is just another step in the process.
"This is just the beginning of questions being answered," Boggs said Friday morning. "It's not that I wish any ill will on the guy. I don't know what his intent or purpose was that day.
"Clearly, he didn't take into account what his actions would do to others."
Matthew Paul McBride Jr., 25, was indicted Jan. 13 on more than two dozen counts, ranging from aggravated vehicular homicide to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The New London man was booked into the Richland County Jail last weekend and bond was set at $100,000.
Through his defense attorney, Robert Whitney, McBride this week entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. A pretrial is scheduled Feb. 24.
The accident occurred after a Sunday church service on May 5 at 1:26 p.m. when the family was westbound in a minivan on Ohio 96. A Ford F-350 pickup truck, driven northbound by McBride on Ganges-Five Points, blew through a stop sign and slammed into the van, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
It happened on a clear, bright sunny day and Boggs still has no earthly idea how McBride never even slowed down. A detailed crash investigation report done by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a document as thick as the phone book of a small city, has never provided answers.
"Hopefully, this gives us an explanation ... the drugs. It was obvious there was something else going on," Boggs said. "It was such a beautiful, clear day. I am hopeful this sheds some light on what may have impaired this guy. What makes a guy who is impaired get behind the wheel with his own kids in the car?
"I hope someone can explain to me what happened. There had to be something. This guy hit us so hard none of us should have lived. This wasn't an accident. This was negligence," said Boggs, who successfully lobbied to improve the safety of the rural intersection by having rumble strips installed.
Boggs' wife, Stacey, suffered traumatic injuries in the crash. She is still on a long road to recovery, recently returning to OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital from her long-term rehab and care facility to deal with additional complications from her head injuries.
"She is looking better, that's the good news. She will wiggle her foot and squeeze your hand. It causes fear that maybe we are back at square one in some ways. People don't realize how much this guy has affected us," said Boggs, whose teenage son, Bruce, suffered a a spinal injury in the crash and is still finding his own way back.
Boggs' 10-month-old daughter, Katherine, who was in a car seat, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her sister, Faith 12, was taken by medical helicopter to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, but never recovered and was pronounced brain dead exactly one week later.
Boggs, himself, was badly hurt in the crash with a gash to his forehead, a fractured skull, chipped vertebra and 30 to 40 stitches. His son, Bruce, 14, lost teeth in the accident and suffered a bruised spine, resulting in rehab work for one of his legs.
A stepdaughter, Raina Snavely, had a broken leg and had to get a metal rod inserted, Boggs said. Another Shelby girl, Brandi Bond, a friend of Boggs' daughter, was injured. Stacey Boggs' mother, Drema, was injured.
Boggs continues to run an emotional gamut, continuing to search for positives, returning to work and also his free martial arts instruction. He is working on a martial arts tournament event May 23 at Shelby Middle School in honor of his children.
"I have been involved in this for nine months. This (indictment and arrest) is by no means the end. It's barely the beginning of the process. (But) they have to have a (legal) starting point," he said.
"Say he goes to prison, which he will. Well, that's great. How can we turn (the prosecution) into something good? If we can send a message .... most people will agree he clearly put himself in a bad situation. Maybe we can make other people think before they do something like this ... prevent this from happening again. We have to turn this into a learning experience."
His faith in God remains strong despite the tragedy.
"You can keep getting up every day or you can roll over. If you want something positive, you gotta believe. The fact any of us are alive is a miracle ... so there must be a purpose. The way people have responded to us ... prayed for us ... it's incredible. We aren't done yet.
"I don't know why (McBride) did what he did. All I know is I don't get to see my kids grow up. No one can say what he did and when he did it before he got behind the wheel that day. I can't pretend to know. The only thing I can tell you is how it affected my family," Boggs said.
"Nothing like this has really been dealt with before. There is no template for this. I don't think people realize how much their wants can destroy someone else's needs."