Family grieves father killed by suspected drunk driver

Published: Updated:

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – A family is shattered by the death of 26-year-old Victor Meinitchouk who was killed in a two-car crash involving an intoxicated driver on Sunday.

Ryan McConnell, 40, of North Port, had been drinking before he caused a fatal crash on Atwater Street, killing Meinitchouk also of North Port, and seriously injuring Meinitchouk’s wife, 29-year-old Alese Sadler of Massachusetts, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

McConnell was driving the wrong way in a northbound lane on Atwater Street around 2 a.m. on Sunday when he smashed his car into the front of Meinitchouk’s mini-van near Loretta Avenue, FHP said.

Meinitchouk’s last moments were spent at church then at a family dinner, his loved ones said Monday. He leaves behind his parents, brothers, sisters and an 8-year-old daughter, Stacey Meinitchouk.

“I really loved him,” Stacey Meinitchouk. “I started crying when my mom told me when he died. It’s just I never wanted my father to die so early.”

Victor Meinitchouk’s family said they were expecting his arrival but he never made it home. His mother, Alla Meinitchouk said she had a bad feeling around the time of her son’s death.

“And I knew something happened but I did not know what. I pray for him and I wake up for him 3 o’clock and I prayed and the doctor said he passed at 3:09,” she said.

Sadler was sent to Lee Memorial with serious injuries, according to FHP, where she is in critical condition.

McConnell was also at Lee Memorial with serious injuries, FHP said Sunday.

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