Recovering from drunk driving accident, remembering Tracy Handel - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Recovering from drunk driving accident, remembering Tracy Handel

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The victim of a fatal accident involving a drunk driver is speaking out for the first time.

In July, Sean Burns was left in critical condition after an accident on his motorcycle near 26th Street and Grange Avenue in Sioux Falls.

The driver of the SUV, Darren Boomgarden, 41, is facing a number of charges for the accident including his second DWI. He's expected to appear in court for his pre-trial hearing, next week.

Burns' passenger, Tracy Handel, 36, died as a result of her injuries. Burns is still recovering.

But, Thursday, along with Handel's sister Tammy, he sat down with us for the first time since the accident.

"The beginning was pretty rough, had to make some adjustments and now I'm just making progress," Sean Burns said.

Progress is a good thing, Sean Burns says, when he talks about his recovery. A recovery, many of us, remember almost didn't happen with 14 fractures, broken bones and two months in the hospital.

But he survived, and is still heartbroken his passenger - and friend - did not.

"It's hard not to second guess, thinking I wish I would have done this different or that different. If we would have spent one more minute in our friend's garage. It's hard not to second guess what could have changed, when we don't have the opportunity now to not change anything. Learning how to accept it,"  Burns said.

He remembers Tracy Handel for how she lived, her heart and her smile. She was any guy's dream girl to have as a friend.

"She liked to hunt, fish, shoot. We'd go around talking about shooting, shot guns, lots of good conversation. She was a lot of fun to be with," Burns said.

Tracy's sister Tammy also joined us for the interview. While they're both amazed by all of the community support, Tammy says she's even more amazed by his recovery.

"Sean is still here, in the last 3 months, I've gotten to know him and I'm in awe of his generous heart, the quiet determination he has to continue living his life, getting things on track and anxious to get healed up and move on and put good out in the world.  I'm blessed he's let me get to know him," Tammy Handel said.

Family and friends of Sean Burns are setting up a benefit for him and his medical costs.

It's called the "Sean Burns Benefit".

WHEN: Saturday November 10 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Ridgecrest Baptist Church (1034 N. Spring Ave, Sioux Falls)

They'll have homemade Chili and Frybread at $10/plate. They'll raffle many items including a grand prize of a professional custom paint job of choice.

For more information: join the "Friends of Sean Burns" Facebook group.

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