Tragedy strikes family twice in three years, teen in medically-i - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Tragedy strikes family twice in three years, teen in medically-induced coma at UCMC

Jeffrey Dethlefs and his niece Karissa Peters were involved in a motorcycle crash in Indiana this past weekend. (Provided) Jeffrey Dethlefs and his niece Karissa Peters were involved in a motorcycle crash in Indiana this past weekend. (Provided)
NORWOOD, OH (FOX19) -

A Cincinnati family is suffering a major heartbreak for the second time in three years.

Jeffrey Dethlefs, 51, died Saturday while doing something his family says he loved.

“He was a big, burly teddy bear basically,” said his wife Shannon Dethlefs.

Franklin County deputies said he was riding his motorcycle on State Route 252 near little Cedar Road in Franklin County, Ind. in the afternoon when he hit loose gravel and lost control. He was heading to Metamora to go shopping with family.

RELATED | Motorcyclist killed, teen airlifted to hospital from crash

Shannon Dethlefs said she witnessed the crash, and despite his 40 years of experience riding motorcycles, she said there was nothing he could do.

“He hit an electric fence, which threw him, and Karissa, off the bike,” she said.

She said his 15-year-old passenger that day, Karissa "Krissy" Peters, is their niece, though they've raised her as their own for several years. Peters survived the wreck, but is at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with a traumatic brain injury and a fractured spine.

“She’s been through a lot, and she’s really strong, so I know she can fight this,” said her friend and classmate Mya Smith.

Unfortunately, the couple's family knows heartbreak all too well.

Jeff Dethlefs' stepdaughter, Amber Rooks, passed away in May 2015.

Police said Michele Schuster drove into Rooks and four other construction workers at a site on Cox Road in West Chester.

Rooks died days later at the hospital. The couple had to endure a lengthy trial.

The family is now asking for prayers for Krissy. 

Some of her classmates put together a prayer vigil Monday night at Norwood High School. They wrote cards and lit candles for their friend as they hold on to hope that she will recover.

Krissy is considered to be in critical condition and is in a medically-induced coma. She has not regained consciousness so far, but her family remains optimistic and hopeful.

There is a GoFundMe page in place to help raise money for medical bills and funeral costs.

The family of Jeff Dethlefs requested that his funeral service information be shared:

Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 12 from 4 to 8 p.m. and on Friday, July 13 from 10 a.m. until the service begins at 1 p.m. Both will take place at the Mihovk-Rosenacker Funeral Home on Plainfield Road in Evendale.

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