MOLINE, Ill. – An Illinois man is speaking out about a local string of car thefts after his fiancee was killed when the driver of a stolen van slammed into their vehicle Wednesday.
Tammy Loos had just turned 51 and was getting ice cream to celebrate her birthday with fiance Matt Burroughs when the red van – with three people inside – struck their SUV as they drove down 53rd Street in Moline.
"I just remember grabbing ahold of her hand – like I always do – and I held her hand and just kept telling her I love her ... until they took her out of the car," Burroughs told WQAD.
Friday was his first day out of the hospital after suffering a broken hip, broken ribs and a broken pelvis. Still, Burroughs said nothing hurts more than losing his soulmate.
"They took the life of the most beautiful person I've ever known ... My best friend is gone," Burroughs said.
The couple were preparing to spend the rest of their lives together. Burroughs said they were beginning to finalize plans for their wedding this fall.
"They took that from me ... they took that from her," he said. "I can't get that back. So am I angry? Yes. You took that from me."
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"Everybody has said that somebody was going to get killed," Burroughs said. "They said it over and over. The car thefts around here need to stop."
He added that it hurts even more because it was so senseless.
"I have to come home every day – without her here now – because of a choice they made," Matt said. "They need to be held accountable for it."
The three occupants of the van face multiple charges.
The alleged driver, 24-year-old Armand Cannon, has been charged with reckless homicide, possession of a stolen vehicle and aggravated driving.
Alexander Garrels, 25, was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and possession of a stolen vehicle, and 27-year-old Amy Taylor faces one count of possession of a stolen vehicle.
Friends and family of Matt and Tammy's have set up a GoFundMe page to help assist with the medical and funeral costs.