FARGO - Sarah Fisher and her husband, Arlin Fisher, lost their son, Cameron Bolton, to a fatal car crash on June 28.
The Fishers view the crash as a tragic accident that not only took the life of their son, but also plunged his close friend, Levi Allmaras, into a dark well of remorse and guilt.
"To crucify Levi is not the right thing. The better thing is to actually help this young man get help, maybe mandated help, to be put back on the right track," Arlin Fisher said.
"The last thing we want to happen is to lose another young life because of this accident," he added.
Bolton, 22, of Fargo, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Allmaras, of West Fargo, which collided with a van carrying a group of basketball players from Lisbon, N.D., at an intersection in Fargo.
Severely injured, Bolton lived for several days, during which a number of his organs were removed and given to others who were in need of transplants.
Sarah Fisher said her family are still healing from the loss, but she said it helps to hear stories about the positive influence her son had on many people's lives. She said it's also gratifying to know his death gave new life to others through his organ donations.
That healing, she said, suffered a setback this past week when news outlets reported on Allmaras being charged in Cass County District Court with one count of aggravated reckless driving, a Class A misdemeanor, in connection with the crash.
Sarah Fisher said Allmaras now lives every day of his life with the reality that Cameron, "our son and his friend," died in his car.
"This terrible reality he faces each and every single day is due solely because of a traffic violation: failure to yield," she said, adding it was not her family's desire that Allmaras be prosecuted.
Arlin Fisher, Bolton's stepfather, agreed.
"Yes, Levi was 100 percent at fault in the accident, but it could have happened to any of us," he said.
The Fishers said they have kept in touch with Allmaras, including having him over for dinner, and they recently attended a baptismal ceremony Allmaras took part in at Prairie Heights Community Church in Fargo, the same church where their son's funeral was held.
Arlin Fisher said Allmaras is struggling with a personal hell right now, and he said they want to do what they can to help him climb out.
Fisher said several things have impressed him since the crash and one of them was the moment Allmaras joined a group of family and friends who had gathered to support each other the morning after the crash.
"It took courage," Arlin Fisher said. "It had to be like walking into the lion's den."
Sarah Fisher said that although court documents make mention of alcohol, she stressed that the documents also show that a preliminary breath test showed Allmaras' blood-alcohol concentration was well below the legal limit at the time of the crash.
The charge against Allmaras alleges he drove recklessly and inflicted injury on another person.
His next court appearance is set for Nov. 10.
Allmaras said the support he has received from the Fishers means a lot to him.
Then, after a pause, he added: "It means everything. It has helped me from losing it."
Allmaras said one thing that weighs on him is knowing good people are suffering.
"I love the family; they're the nicest people," he said, referring to the family of his friend.
"I feel really bad that something like that happened to such good people."