A 25-year-old Overland Park man was killed after being hit by a car on Interstate 70.
The parents of Josh E. Wassmer say their son was a wonderful guy, personable, loving to all his family and many friends and will be deeply missed.
Police said about 12:20 a.m. Sunday an SUV hit and killed Wassmer, who was trying to cut across I-70 near The Paseo to get home. Wassmer died at the scene.
Family said he had spent the evening at a charity event with an open bar, followed by drinks with friends downtown.
Wassmer lived just a few blocks away.
His family says he made a careless mistake that ended the life of a deeply loved young man.
"He wandered onto an exit or something, and thought that he could make it across the interstate," said Jeremy Wassmer, who calls his brother's death a careless mistake with permanent and tragic consequences.
Now, the only thing the 25-year-old's family has to remember him by are photographs and memories of his smile that could lift spirits. And it is a smile that they can't imagine not seeing again.
"The face you see in most of the pictures, he has that smile on, that's pretty much the face you would see every time you saw him," said Skyler Wassmer, the victim's cousin. "Josh just had a lot of life, and he could bring that joy out of you pretty quickly."
However, the young man's family is now focused on honoring his memory.
"He could have done anything really, because he was smart. He was starting to work really hard and be really motivated," Jeremy Wassmer said.
He was finishing a degree in business school and working with his dad.
Newspaper clippings the family collected, show his talent as a tennis player. He competed at state finals in high school, and he always had time for his family, however they needed him.
"I remember having a conversation with him where we told each other we didn't act the same with anybody else that we did with each other, it was always just being goofy and silly all the time," Skyler Wassmer said.
The family had one last time together, all gathered for Thanksgiving. Now they're hanging on to those memories, but they know they'll always wish for more.
"Obviously, I wish that we had spent the whole day together, and I could go back and talk to him a little longer," Skyler Wassmer said.
Josh Wassmer's dad said he doesn't blame the driver who hit him, that he likely just couldn't react in time. The driver did stop afterward to try and help.
Josh Wassmer was Kansas City's 66th traffic fatality for 2012.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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