This Father's Day weekend some people will be honoring the memory of a dad whose life was cut short.
33-year-old Jade Thie was killed in a car crash near Cliff Avenue and 60th Street in Sioux Falls last March.
Police say the other driver, 19-year-old Kyle Jones, led officers on a chase that reached speeds of more than 80 miles per hour in a stolen vehicle before crashing. If convicted, Jones could face up to life in prison for first-degree manslaughter.
The cross streets where the chase came to a deadly end looks a lot different now. The police cars and ambulances are gone, and in their places is extensive road construction. You can give a street a facelift, but no amount of construction can fix painful memories.
"I almost didn't come," Thie's cousin Chad Cadwell said.
It is not easy returning to where his cousin died, but it is not hard for Cadwell and friend Justin Beckman to keep Thie close to their hearts. Both men wear matching tie-dye t-shirts emblazoned with a big corn on the cob design because it was Thie's favorite and he wore it constantly.
But these two men are also thinking about Thie's wife, Molly, and their two young sons.
"This is year one. We've got his youngest isn't even one yet, so we have at least 18 years of trying to help his family. Jade would be doing the same for any of us," Beckman said.
They have organized Jammin' For Jade, a benefit to raise money for the three most important people in Thie's life. It features games, a silent auction and three live bands. A fitting tribute to a man who lived and breathed music.
"Then at the end it will kind of be a friends jam, if you will. They'll get up on stage and all play some of his favorite songs, whether it be Grateful Dead, Phish, On Down the Road," Beckman said.
It is not just bringing Thie's friends and family together, but it is linking together the entire Sioux Falls area. Beckman and Cadwell went to multiple business in the area, and have collected about $10,000 in donations and prizes to auction off. Some include Omaha Zoo passes, gym memberships and box seats at the Sioux Falls Arena.
"He's smiling down on us right now," Beckman said. "Nobody likes doing this for their friends, but at the same time, it's been neat to see how everybody has pulled together," Beckman said.
Though Saturday's Jammin' For Jade benefit does not fix the painful past, it can help make a smoother future for the loved ones he left behind.
"We're all looking for something positive to come from this horrible tragedy. It's fitting we do this on Father's Day weekend, because Jade was an amazing dad," Cadwell said.
Jammin' For Jade begins Saturday at 4 p.m. at Rookies Sports Bar and Grill in Sioux Falls. Tickets are $10. To find out more, visit the KELOLAND Events Calendar.