Family shocked, saddened by crash that left Olathe man brain-dead

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OLATHE, Kan. — It’s the call no family wants to get, but now a metro family must deal with the aftermath while another man faces charges. A 32-year-old Olathe man, Christopher Willdermood, the victim of what police allege was a drunk driver.

“Its been a horrifying week for the entire family,” David Willdermood, Christopher’s uncle, says they got the call late Sunday night.

“Well, I was asleep and my wife woke me up and when something like that happens it’s a total shock to you, you’re not ready for it,” said David.

According to the police report, just after 10 p.m. on Sunday, January 11, Christopher was driving in the 1300 block of South Ridgeview Road in Olathe.

“Just got his house, just got established in Olathe,” added David.

Police say his car and a pickup truck were both traveling southbound when the driver of the pickup rear-ended his car, pushing it off the road.

Christopher was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

“He’s just a very energetic person, just full of life, he was absolutely full of life,” David said, “He was very competitive, very competitive person. Loved his family, loved his brother so much.”

Christopher has a twin brother, his uncle said they were always together. His uncle also said he was happily married to his wife Stacey.

“She’s taken it really hard right now, it’s really hard on her,” David said. “He just absolutely adored his wife… and she adored him.”

According to the Johnson County District Court documents, the driver of the pickup who hit Christopher is 42-year-old Jeremy Michael Claerhout. He was not injured, but was later placed under arrest for having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. He’s been charged with aggravated battery.

“Chris was definitely a hard worker,” said David, “He graduated out of KU, he was an avid KU fan, avid KU basketball fan.”

David said his nephew was an electrical engineer.

“He had a lot going for him,” added David, “Your nephews and your kids are supposed to bury you, not the other way around.”

Christopher’s uncle says doctors told the family that he was brain-dead. But since he’s an organ donor, his uncle says family members are keeping him on life support in hopes his organs will save someone else.

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