Louisville Army Veteran dies a month after being hit by suspecte - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Army Veteran dies a month after being hit by suspected drunk driver

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) –  Michael Tungate served his country in Iraq, but it was ultimately a drunk driving crash that took the Army veteran's life after he was taken off life support.  

With an American Flag flying proudly outside Tungate’s home, Ramona Pennington reads a poem she wrote about her now deceased son.

“A ray of light and sunshine in my life … the days are long the nights are longer you know a life was mistakenly taken,” Pennington said.

Her son was a six-year army veteran who survived fighting for his country in Iraq. On May 25 he was on his way home from work on his motorcycle when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver on Bardstown Road near Hudson Lane.

After fighting for his life for about a month -- family decided to take the 28-year-old off life support.

“He was my best friend. He was my son, He was everything,” Pennington said. “And I just really had to make a conscious decision for my son. If I love him, I love him enough to let him go.”

Police say Monty Janes was the man behind the wheel who hit Tungate. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. Janes was charged with assault, but police say that could be upgraded now that Tungate has died.

“Drunken driving and hitting someone is a choice and you take a life. And it's a life for a life, honestly. I’ll never have Michael back,” Pennington said.

With a passion for change, Pennington says she wants to have a law created in Michael's name for stricter DUI penalties.

“That guy is going to jail and I'm sorry, he may have to be the example that should have been put years ago and I'm just the one to say you took the wrong child because I promise you I won't stop until something happens with this,” she said.

Until then she'll hold her son's memory close to her heart.

“Rest easy my son, mom loves you,” Pennington said as she read the last line of her poem.

Related stories: 

Louisville Iraq War Veteran fights for his life after being hit by alleged drunk driver

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