by Jason Lamb
LASCASSAS, Tenn. – The family of a man killed in an off-road vehicle crash last week has spoken out as they try to deal with their loss.
Lee Sharber, age 44, was a retired National Guard Major. He died when his off-road vehicle crashed in Lascassas while riding home from a cookout with his girlfriend, Leslie Johansen, who was injured.
Leslie said Sharber looked over at her for just a second, and the off road vehicle started to veer toward the side of the road and into a pole.
Sharber died from his injuries, but Leslie was able to survive - in large part because she said when Sharber realized what was wrong, he tried steering her away from the brunt of the impact.
“At the last second he was able to steer around it,” Leslie said. “I believe he took the impact on his side of the vehicle to protect me, because that's what Lee would do, he was very protective.”
The report filled by the Tennessee Highway Patrol out as part of the investigation listed alcohol as a possible factor in the crash, but Sharber's girlfriend said that's not true.
She said he did have a case of beer with him from the party they had just come from, but said those cans were not open when investigators found them at the scene.