Husband speaks out about man who killed his wife

Courtesy: Jolene French
Courtesy: Jolene French

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It has been more than two months since a 60 year old grandmother was hit and killed. Now, the district attorney is pressing charges against a 32 year old man.

“It’s been pretty tough,” Rodney French, Tara French’s husband said about the losing his wife. “It kind of comes and goes. Everyone told me there would be good days and bad days and that is very correct. It hits you at funny times.”

Courtesy: Jolene French
Courtesy: Jolene French

Sixty-year-old year old Tara French was struck and killed on Lakeshore Boulevard during the Fourth of July festivities. She was struck in the median after letting neighbors know the ashes from the fireworks they were shooting off were coming and landing on her family and friends.

Tara French always put family and other people first — even when she was working as a nurse.

“My wife was a registered nurse for 40 years,” French said. “She saved two people on the operating table and this is what she gets as a thank you.”

Thirty-two year old Jason Patterson has been charged with second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and drunk driving related to hitting and killing the grandmother.

Jason Patterson
Jason Patterson

“I’m trying to stay as removed as possible from him as I can,” French said. “I told the police I do not want to know where he lives I don’t want to know who he works for.”

But those charges are not enough for French.

“If you kill someone you should never be allowed to drive again,” French said.

This tragic time is even leading to a message from the grieving husband.

“I want people to know if you get drunk and you drive, you effect more than just the person that you killed and I’ll never ever see my wife again,” French said.

The Fourth of July has gone from a holiday to the worst day for Tara French’s family.

“It has basically ruined my life and I think him and his family need to be aware of that,” French said.

The Topeka Surgery Center will be planting a tree in honor of Tara French.

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