By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Kathryn Runion called them “my boys.”
One was her son, Daniel Runion. The other was Daniel’s friend David Anglemyer, whom Kathryn thought of as her child, too. Daniel met David in the eighth grade.
On June 7 last year, Daniel, 19, Osceola, and David, 18, Goshen, were bicycling on C.R. 20 east of Pleasant Plain. They were headed to Goshen, with plans to go for a swim later in Waubee Lake. They never made it.
A westbound 2003 Ford Taurus driven by Daniel Snead of Elkhart went left of center and struck the two bicyclists. Runion and Anglemyer died as a result of their injuries. After the crash, Snead, 44, tested positive for methamphetamine.
In Elkhart Circuit Court Thursday, Snead received an 18-year prison sentence for his role in the young men’s deaths. He’ll also serve six years on probation and six years in the Elkhart County Community Corrections program. Snead had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle when there was a controlled substance in his system.
As family members of Runion and Anglemyer testified in court Thursday, Snead’s head was often bowed as he wiped away tears. Given the opportunity to speak by Judge Terry Shewmaker, Snead kept his comments brief.
“Words can’t really describe the pain and sorrow I carry with me because of all this,” he said.
Family members of Runion and Anglemyer had more to say.
Kathryn Runion said her son spent 19 years overcoming adversity. He was bullied as a boy, and later suffered epileptic seizures. She also recalled when Daniel and David met, and how they completed each other in many ways.
On the witness stand Thursday, Runion remembered a son who loved children and the outdoors — he never missed a river clean-up project, she said.
“He set out every day to enjoy life,” she said.
Daniel Runion’s sister, Christy, said she and her brother had grown apart as they got older. However, they were becoming closer in the last month of his life.
“As soon as we come back together, he’s gone,” Christy Runion said. She told Snead she wanted to be able to forgive him one day, “even if I’m not ready to this minute.”
David Anglemyer’s uncle, Kevin Hackler, asked for the maximum sentence for Snead.
“I would like to think his remorse would keep him from doing this again,” Hackler said. “Unfortunately, he’s dangerous.”
Anglemyer’s mother, Kelly Humes, said her son loved life and his family dearly.
“When I was feeling bad, he would always make me smile,” she said. Humes said she still finds herself waiting at the door for David to come home. She knows he isn’t.
“The day I gave birth to my son, I never thought I’d only have 18 years with him,” she said.
Prosecutors said the meth in Snead’s system at the time of the crash was smoked as part of a marijuana cigarette. According to statements in court Thursday, Snead had been using marijuana for 30 years and meth for 20.
Judge Shewmaker asked Snead what he would say to other people using meth.
“Stop,” Snead replied.
In other proceedings Thursday, two Nappanee men arrested on drug-related charges had their initial hearings in Circuit Court.
Charles D. Thompson, 52, 455 W. Indiana, and Dana J. Hall, 55, 402 S. Main, are charged with Class A felony counts of dealing methamphetamine. If convicted, each faces up to 50 years in prison.
Judge Shewmaker appointed public defenders to represent the two, and set a trial date of June 3 for each.
Thompson and Hall were arrested after police raided Thompson’s home Feb. 13. A fire broke out in a second-story room during that search, according to prosecutors. Firefighters extinguished the blaze.
Thompson and Hall are each incarcerated in the Elkhart County jail on a bond of $150,000.