MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man who killed three brothers while driving drunk is accused of drinking and driving again.
Jacob, Justin and Matthew Backstrom died in October 2004 — they had just finished a trip to Walmart when Boe Barlage hit them head on. He spent six years in prison, and the judge ordered him to speak to groups about his crime.
Last week, police in Lakeville say Barlage blew a point-1-9 after being pulled over again, and members of the Backstrom family say took the news hard.
It’s been more than a decade since they saw their sons together. They were buried near their home.
“Sometimes you’re fine, and then one little thing will trigger that heartache that makes you think you’re going to melt right through the floor,” the boys’ mother Connie Backstrom said.
Nathan Backstrom, their father, visited Boe Barlage twice in prison.
“I had forgiven him publicly and I wanted to do it privately as well,” Nathan said. “I told him ‘I know God has a greater plan for your life.'”
Unfortunately, Barlage’s life appeared to take a different turn last week in Lakeville.
“I was very shocked and disappointed to hear of this most recent arrest, given the fact I heard less than a week before that Mr. Barlage was out in the community sharing his tragedy about what he learned from the terrible tragedy that he caused in 2004,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, who is not related to the family.
“To say thay we’re disappointed is maybe an understatement,” Nathan said.
Even through all the pain, Nathan says their statement remains the same.
“We know that forgiveness is a gift that we’ve been given to pass along to others, and we hope that he thinks very long and hard about this,” Nathan said.
Barlage is on probation. He could now face up to 5 years in prison.
The Backstroms, meanwhile, have something happy to celebrate — this past Saturday, with her two surviving sons at her side, Connie Backstrom finished her college degree. She plans to go into counseling, to help grieving parents.