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U'Ren family wants drivers to learn lesson in tragedy after fatal crash

U'Ren family wants drivers to learn...

MADISON, Wis. - Two weeks after a fatal car accident on Highway 30 in Madison, one of the victim’s family members is calling for drivers to slow down.

Police said the driver, Brandon Ballweg, lost control of his vehicle. He was allegedly speeding while traveling eastbound when he went airborne, hitting Kirk U’ren and Jenni Steiner in the opposite lane. Ballweg is in the Dane County jail facing numerous charges, including reckless homicide.

Kirk U’Ren died at the scene of the crash on Feb. 12. His wife, Jenni Steiner, died of injuries she sustained in the crash nearly two weeks later. Kirk’s mother and father, Geri and Ron, said accidents like this could be prevented if people slowed down.  

“They just meshed. They made a perfect pair. They brought out the good in each other,” Geri U’Ren said.

It's been a little more than two weeks since that perfect pair was taken away.

“It is a nightmare,” Geri said. “Parents should never have to bury their children.” 

Geri and Ron are now focused on who the couple left behind -- baby boys Kayden and Grayson. Kirk's parents say they are trying to make the change as easy as possible on the boys, but it is hard sometimes.

“Kayden especially is really wondering about dad -- you know, where is he at -- and so all we've been saying is, 'Dad's gone.' One time I said, 'Well, they went to the game,'” Geri said.

A fundraiser at the boys' day care, Kids' Safari, and Baker Tilly and Pepsi-Cola of Madison have raised around $200,000. The family has also set up a Go Fund Me page and a YouCaring page.

Geri and Ron said they are so thankful for the outpouring of support, but are asking for just one more thing: for everyone to drive safely.

"You just can't take that responsibility lightly, and I'm afraid that's what too many people do," Ron said.


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