Update: Newlywed Fights For Her Life

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

A young newlywed is fighting for her life after a weekend crash. Jessica Lutton-Bedient, 26 and her husband Tony Bedient, 30, were both injured after a driver police suspect of speeding and drinking collided into them.

It happened at 11:30 p.m. Saturday at 144th & Q. Omaha police say 18-year-old Aaron Danoff collided with the couple’s truck after running a red light. The Bedient’s Toyota spun into another vehicle, but the couple inside that truck walked away from the crash uninjured.

The Bedients and Danoff are all being treated at Creighton University Medical Center, but their conditions were not released Monday. Only Jessica Bedient’s injuries were life-threatening, according to police.

"You know you think of your own grandchildren. She's the same age as one of our granddaughters,” said a friend of Jessica’s family in Ashland. “And they've been such good friends,” said Lucille Sapp.

Investigators say both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash “It's just, just terrible that these young people get a hold of alcohol,” said Sapp. “And well, anyone that drinks to such an extent and then gets in the car to drive. It's just, just unreal."

Tony's stepfather, Larry Kopsa, shares those sentiments. "Everybody that thinks they can drink and drive should be with me right now in the intensive care waiting room,” he wrote Channel 6 News. “We are trying to forgive the young driver. But if you could package the fear and sorrow in this room - "

Jessica works at the University of Nebraska-Omaha for the University of Nebraska Foundation. Clarence Castner, NU Foundation President, told Channel 6 News, “The thoughts and prayers of the University of Nebraska foundation and university community are focused on support for Jessica and her family during this critical time. We’re hopeful for Jessica’s full recovery and for the recovery of her husband, Tony.”

Sapp believes the family’s strong religious beliefs will help them get through their struggles. "The Lord will heal her if its his will, and that's what we're praying for,” she said. “That she will be a whole person again and be able to come back to us."

Police expect charges will be filed against Danoff once he’s released from the hospital.


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