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The unfortunate connection between a killed MPD officer and a man with a traumatic brain injury

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 23:29:01-04

MILWAUKEE — The death of Milwaukee Police Officer Kou Her, in a car crash at 60th and Capitol Tuesday, hits especially close to home for one family. Although they never met the officer, their lives were forever hanged by a reckless driver in the very same intersection.

Angelo Reyes, 31, was not expected to survive his traumatic brain injury. But he beat the odds, and is now out of the hospital, recovering at home.
"It's a blessing, and feels like a miracle," Angelo said.

Reyes was driving home April 14th, just before 1 a.m., when a Chevrolet Tahoe came barreling into his Honda Accord.

According to the police report, the driver of the Tahoe - James Kimbrough, 31 - was speeding, and ran the red light at 60th and Capitol. Responding officers believe Kimbrough had been drinking, but lab results still aren't back.

The circumstances of this crash are eerily similar to the crash that killed Officer Her in the same intersection Tuesday.

"That intersection is deadly," says Andrea Reyes, Angelo's sister. "People drive like they're on a racetrack, and have no regard for other people."

Andrea makes sure she's in the courtroom every time Kimbrough faces a judge. He's charged with "Hit and Run - Causing Great Bodily Harm," but is a free man after posting bail after the crash.

"Reckless drivers are not held accountable," Andrea said. "There has to be some sort of accountability so people think twice before they're out risking other people's lives. My brother and Officer Her were both on their way home, minding their own business. Innocent people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. But their deaths were totally preventable."

According to the criminal complaint, Kimbrough claimed his "brakes didn't work" and says "he remembers the crash, but not getting out of the car and running away from the scene."

"He didn't bother to see if Angelo was alive," Andrea said. "He didn't call 911. He just left."

Angelo has brain damage and will need constant care. He also faces overwhelming medical bills.

"I thank the Lord for my family every day and always," Angelo said.

"We are so thankful he's alive," Andrea said. "But he's going to be dealing with these side effects of the accident for the rest of his life."

James Kimbrough and his attorney declined our request for an interview.