Excerpt of Article written by Kelly Lyell | The Coloradoan
Andy Klussmann lost his wife, his career, his athletic ability and — for a short time — much of his mental capacity in a car crash 10 years ago.
A driver, whose blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit an hour after the crash, ran a red light and broadsided the van the Klussmanns were in at an intersection in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Janna Klussmann, 41, was killed, and Andy, then a CSU assistant volleyball coach, was left in a coma with a shattered jaw and traumatic brain injury. He was hospitalized for more than five months and had to relearn to walk and talk.
You certainly couldn’t blame Klussmann if he were bitter at the world; if he spent his days wallowing in self-pity. Instead, he committed himself to his children, realizing he now had to be mother and father to Jack, then 2, and Drew, who turned 1 the day of the crash.
“After the crash, I feel a little mortal,” Klussmann said Thursday, reflecting on the June 20, 2004, crash that turned his world upside down. “My boys are counting on me to live.”
He’s engaged now, to a telemarketer who heard his story several years ago while asking questions to see if he qualified for some energy-efficiency home upgrades. Five minutes after the sales call ended, Janet Radke called back from her personal phone while taking a break and asked if she could check in periodically with him to see how he and his boys were doing.
“His story just touched my heart,” Radke said.
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Thanks to Kelly Lyell for writing the article; Coloradoan for committing its resources to publishing the article; Andy Klussmann for sharing his story; Janet Radke for adding to the article; Google for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.
Follow reporter Kelly Lyell at twitter.com/KellyLyell and facebook.com/KellyLyell.news