COLUMBIA, MS - While Queenita Blackmond says there are no words to express her grief over the loss of her husband, there are many ways the community is describing 37-year-old James "Man" Blackmond: a friend to all, a father to more than he needed to be, a die-hard fan of the Saints, and the love of Queenita's life.
"He is way more than that wreck and I want everybody to know how much he was loved and will be truly missed in our lives," she said.
Monday, the family's agony over Blackmond's death, in a horrific crash on the Causeway last week, turned into anger when they learned the woman accused of causing the crash was released on a $126,000 bond.
"It's a slap in the face," said Blackmond, "It's like somebody sticks you in the heart with a knife and continues to twist it and laugh."
Twenty-seven-year-old Olivia Matte had been booked for Blackmond's death. The crash also hurt his brother-in-law, who was with him on the way to a job in Port Fourchon. It was Matte's third DWI in less than a year.
"You hit somebody, you go to jail, lay down for a few hours, then you're out, back home chillin' with your people like it's all good when we're sitting here weeping over your mistake," said Blackmond's nephew Byron Osgood.
Blackmond's sister, Regina Allen, said, "You know, I see her face as well as I see my brother's, and before he's even buried, she's free. That bothers me."
"It's not fair at all," said Blackmond's nephew Je'Vaughn Osgood, "It's not fair to us as a family for the loss of our loved one, it's not fair to the drivers that are on the road."
That's why Blackmond's family wants to work to bring stronger immediate penalties for multiple DWI arrests and stronger punishments after multiple DWI convictions.
But first, they're preparing for the hardest part, which is saying goodbye to a good man too early.
Blackmond's funeral is scheduled to take place Saturday at 2 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Columbia, Mississippi.
Attempts to reach Matte for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.