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Meeting the Man Who Killed His Wife

December 07, 2012|By Matt Mauro | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(WICHITA, Kan.) — It was a fiery car crash on Kellogg that burns half of Jared Estes's body and puts him into a coma.  When he comes to, he has one big question: What happened to Paige-  She's the love of his life, the girl he's been married to just six months, who had been sitting next to him when this accident happens; Jared's about to find out.
    
In a coma at Via Christi Saint Francis for the past two weeks, he finally wakes up.

"People started coming through my room and after each person left I would ask where's Paige and the next person would come in and I'd ask where's Paige and they would blow it off," Jared says.  "And finally the last person came through and my dad closed the door and he told me that she didn't make it and she didn't get out of the car.

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"I was on an amazing amount of drugs at the time, and even with all that it was amazingly sobering to hear that.  All the drugs in the world can't make that pain any better."

The only thing Jared can think of doing, is saying goodbye to Paige.  He didn't even get to go to her funeral, because it happened while he was still in a coma.

"I needed to get to her grave," Jared says, "because that was as close as I could get to her, without actually being with her." 

Before going anywhere, Jared has a lot of work to do.  His face is severely scarred.  His ear is gone and half his body is burned beyond belief.

"I was in pretty bad shape," Jared says.  "I knew just from the way people looked at me, because I couldn't see myself.  My fingers just looked like sausages they were just massive. This was so flared up on my face; it was so red and bleeding for a long time.

Soon the bleeding stops.  And with the help of these, what Jared calls torture devices, some very dedicated physical therapists and a lot of hard work, Jared finally makes the trip he's been thinking about since coming out of his coma.  He goes back to Bucklin, beside Paige's grave.

"Honestly, it was miserable at first because I could not grieve the way I wanted to," Jared says.  "I wanted to grab piles of this dirt and slam them on the ground and I wanted to yell at the sky and I wanted to throw a fit worthy of Paige, the one I had dreamed of in the hospital.

Jared doesn't throw that fit, he's still badly injured.  All he can do is sit there and reflect on their memories together.

"Honestly, ever since we've been together, ever since I've known her and loved her," Jared says, "I always thought this would be me and she'd be standing here.  And we'd argue about it about who was going to go first, because neither one of us wanted to live without the other one."

Now, Jared has to live without the other.  It's all because of Lewis Keibert.  A judge recently sentenced him to 23 years in prison for killing Paige; the third time he'd been convicted for driving under the influence.

"One of the things that drives me to get through this and to get better," Jared told Keibert when he was sentenced, "I will not be your victim Lewis.  I will not be your victim.  I've pretty much been hiding under this boonie cap for about a year and a half.  Because uh, half my face is pretty much burned off.  My ear is gone.

"It was crazy.  I honestly, I did not know what I was going to say before hand.  I was going to let my friends and family speak first and I wanted to see what they were going to say.  And if I put it on paper, things that have happened in my life look so cold, they look so cold; it's kind of like, Paige dead, me hospitalized."

None of this is easy for Jared; going to court, rehab or the cemetery.  But it's what he has to do to get on with life and keep his wife's memory bright and alive.

"Paige was just so beautiful.  She was so amazing.  So to have that ripped away, to have her ripped out, the world is just crazy.

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