FARGO — Callie Nelson didn’t mince words as she talked about the empty space left in her life after the death of Johnny Grey in a car crash in June.

“It was devastating,” said Nelson, who quietly talked about the loss of Grey in her life as well as the loss of Grey in her daughter’s life. “Our kid is gonna be without a dad now.”

Nelson, who has a 14-year-old daughter with Grey, said her relationship with Grey had its share of tough times, especially in recent years. Court records show legal battles between Grey and Nelson.

Yet, even though they never married and split up after the birth of their daughter, Nelson acknowledged Grey’s death was upsetting and has left a void in her daughter’s life.

Hair stylist Johnny Grey at Fargo's Blush Salon is remembered for his dedication to helping people look and feel their best. Special to The Forum
Hair stylist Johnny Grey at Fargo's Blush Salon is remembered for his dedication to helping people look and feel their best. Special to The Forum

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“I want to look through the eyes of my kid .... She lost her dad,” Nelson said. “That’s something that she can never get back."

Grey, a 38-year-old hair stylist, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by 34-year-old Daniel Dalpozzo that crashed in the 1400 block of 10th Street Southwest in West Fargo the night of June 22.

The vehicle was going south on 10th Street Southwest when it went into the wrong lane and hit several parked cars, none of which were occupied, authorities said.

Grey died at the scene, and Dalpozzo was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries. Dalpozzo and Grey were not wearing seat belts, authorities said.

Dalpozzo has not been criminally charged in connection with the crash, and the North Dakota Highway Patrol still has an open investigation into the crash. Search warrants and preliminary investigation reports say Dalpozzo may have been drinking before the crash.

According to a search warrant issued shortly after the crash to obtain a sample of Dalpozzo’s blood, officers noted Dalpozzo had a strong odor of alcohol. Dalpozzo allegedly told “officers on the scene of the crash that he had consumed a lot of alcohol,” the documents state.

Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said the investigation has found that Dalpozzo was the driver at the time of the crash and had been drinking prior. The search warrant mentions that the vehicle “was travelling at a high rate of speed before the crash.”

Niewind said the Highway Patrol is working with the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office on the appropriate charges to be filed in this case. Prosecutor Reid Brady said the office is reviewing the investigation report.

Attempts to reach Dalpozzo on Thursday, Oct. 3, were not successful.

Nelson said she is surprised Dalpozzo has not yet been charged in connection with the crash. But DoeRae and Jerry Prante, Grey’s mother and stepfather, and Grey’s wife, Emma Grey, issued a statement saying that they have no concerns with the investigation.

“We are satisfied that the prosecution will move forward when they are ready. We know they are acting with great care and diligence and we appreciate their hard work,” they said in the statement.

Nelson said she wants to keep Grey's memory alive for her daughter.

“You can’t replace an actual person," Nelson said. "It’s definitely shoes that, even myself, I can’t fill."