Even at the age of 33, Brad Nitsch called his mom down in Alabama every day, just to chat. On November 26, 2011, the calls stopped.
Nitsch was mowed down by a drunk driver the day after Thanksgiving in Rock Falls. The man who hit him, Chad Morse, had two prior drunk driving convictions and several other alcohol-related arrests.
"I believe it's three strikes and you're out. To me, he used a weapon to kill my son, just like he took a gun and shot him," said Mark Nitsch, Brad's dad.
On Tuesday, Morse plead guilty to aggravated driving under the influence. Six other charges were dismissed. Prosecutors say the aggravated DUI is the most serious of the charges, with the most possible prison time, 3 to 14 years.
Morse will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence. For Nitsch's family, it's not enough.
"The laws are not good enough. Chad will come out of jail. He will walk this road again. He took a life. He took my son's life," said Joanne Nitsch. "He's a repeat offender."
The family is headed back to Mobile, Alabama where they live, but plan to return when Morse is sentenced in May. They want Morse and others to remember Brad, and the heartbreak caused by the crime.
"If anyone knows people drinking and driving, please don't let them. Please don't let them."