Family Wants Answers in Their Children's Death; Suing Sheriff's Department

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Fighting tears throughout, the Bachman family - with two dead children and another in a coma - are searching for answers. They're suing the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department not for money, but for the facts.

"We can't get through the grieving process because we don't have any information," Father Frank Bachman said.

The civil lawsuit from attorney Daniel McGrail claims negligence and a disregard of safety against the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department and sheriff's deputy Joseph Boomer. The Bachman family wants to get to the bottom of why Boomer's cruiser collided with the car carrying their three kids. It happened on January 14th just west of Rockford. The passengers - 21-year-old Aaron, who was soon to be a dad, and 15-year-old Daniel - both died. The driver - 19-year-old sister Kori -remains in a coma.

"He absolutely adored his wife, and couldn't wait to be a dad," Mother Kim Bachman said.

"We were just getting started. After he got out of the military we were so happy to be back home," Widow Lindsey Bachman said.

Accident investigators say the sheriff's deputy vehicle collided with the Bachman's car at more than 80 miles per hour as it entered this intersection at Weldon road and U.S. Business 20. The impact sent the Bachman's vehicle 150 feet. The sheriff's deputy was responding to a non-emergency call, and did not have its emergency lights or sirens on."

"There needs to be a simple standing operating procedure for using lights and sirens," Attorney Daniel McGrail said.

For now, the family says justice will only come with the proper answers, and exonerating the driver Kori from any wrondoing. Even then, this tragedy cannot be reversed.
"Emotionally, we're distraught. It's a very hard time. It's just extremely hard," Frank Bachman said.

Kori Bachman has severe head trauma and doctors are cautiously optimistic she will survive.

Winnebago county sheriff Richard Meyers says based on the current information the department is comfortable with Deputy Joseph Boomer's actions. The sheriff adds the deputy did everything in his power to avoid hitting the Bachman's car. Meanwhile, the state's attorney's office is reviewing the case.


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