It was just 3 months ago when Tracy Handel was hit on the back of a motorcycle at 26th Street and Grange Avenue, dragged for blocks down the street and later died of her injuries. While the markings on the street and tribute on the corner might be gone now, for some, the memories are still fresh.
What's left now is looking at the man responsible: Darren Lee Boomgarden, 41.
"My thoughts on him haven't changed since the moment the police officer told me what happened in the ER," Tammy Handel said.
Tammy Handel lost her sister Tracy that night. She says distracted driving of any kind is a sad reality. As hard as it is for her to do, she's not judging him.
"I flashed back to the times I had been behind the wheel, irresponsibly and should not have been driving. My first thought was 'I can't judge him, I've done it too.' it's by the grace of God I didn't get pulled over, or get a DUI or kill someone," Tammy Handel said.
For time to be served, Sean Burns, who was driving the motorcycle with Tracy, admits he's OK with a minimum sentence for Boomgarden.
"I don't feel he's ever going to drink and drive again. He seems sincerely apologetic, remorseful. There's nothing we can do to correct what happened. No jail sentence will bring Tracy back. The only thing is to keep going forward from here," Sean Burns said.
Tammy only prays now that everyone involved will make the best of it.
"As hard as it is to lose Tracy and not have her here for the rest of our lives, we almost have an easier time of it than what he is going through. I would not want to trade places with him for anything in the world but I do not judge him," Handel said.
The message is out there, she says, but fears for the crop of repeat offenders, like Boomgarden, and wants to find a way to make the laws more strict to keep this from happening.
"Drink, be an alcoholic and do what you want to. Just don't get behind the wheel. You are literally making choices and decisions that will impact the lives of every single person your path crosses. In this case, Darren's path crossed Sean and Tracy's," she said.
The two families have a no-contact agreement for now. Handel looks forward to talking with Boomgarden one day.
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.
Monday, May 20 2013 11:08 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:08:09 GMT
We're going to spend a few minutes talking about gay marriage. Just six days ago, it was signed into law in Minnesota. There is an effort here in South Dakota to amend the state constitution to allowMore >>
A conservative leader tells KSFY News he has a specific plan to overturn the court decision which legalized gay marriage in Iowa. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:00 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:00:25 GMT
Gas prices rose again overnight....and it's not just by a couple cents. Here in South Dakota, the average price for a gallon of regular is $3.83 today...up from $3.65 yesterday. Iowans are payingMore >>
The current price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Minnesota is $4.26.More >>
Thursday, May 16 2013 11:00 PM EDT2013-05-17 03:00:30 GMT
It's a monument representing our nation and, of course, our state. Mount Rushmore, sitting proud in the Black Hills since it was 'unofficially' completed in the 1940s. As time goes on, chances are, itMore >>
KSFY takes a trip to the Black Hills to find out what it takes to preserve the great faces of Mount Rushmore, and how much longer preservation could last.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:59 AM EDT2013-05-21 11:59:49 GMT
Isabella is a 2-year-old brown and white Terrier/ American Pit Bull mix. She was dropped off at night, so the Sioux Falls Humane Society does not have a lot of information about her. But she is reallyMore >>
Isabella is the Pet of the Week from the Sioux Falls Humane Society.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 3:46 AM EDT2013-05-21 07:46:06 GMT
More than 9,000 fans cheered for the Birds this opening weekend. Canaries organizers say they want people to come check out what's new for the team this year. This past week the Sioux Falls CanariesMore >>
More than 9,000 fans cheered for the Birds this opening weekend. Canaries organizers say they want people to come check out what's new for the team this year.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:29 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:29:47 GMT
Construction season has hit with full force in Sioux Falls. It seems everywhere we look there are orange cones and that's certainly put a damper on some downtown businesses. If you're headed down 6thMore >>
If you're headed down 6th Street toward Phillips, don't be in a hurry because you'll see many signs saying 'Road Closed'. One business, Acoustic, is not too fond of it.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:18 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:18:57 GMT
The Sioux Falls Police Department conducted a liquor sting Monday night. Of 27 off-sale liquor establishments checked, two failed by selling alcohol to a person under 21-years-old. The business's thatMore >>
Of 27 off-sale liquor establishments checked, two failed by selling alcohol to a person under 21-years-old.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:57 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:57:51 GMT
Sunday was a big day for the Sioux Falls School District as the senior class of 2013 celebrated graduation. All three graduations were held Sunday. We stopped at the Roosevelt High School ceremony whereMore >>
Sioux Falls public schools celebrated graduation, Sunday.More >>