Sister of late Tracy Handel: "I can't judge him" - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sister of late Tracy Handel: "I can't judge him"

Posted: Updated:

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.

  • Home for Austin one step closer to completion

    Home for Austin one step closer to completion

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:31:44 GMT
    Austin Coffee’s arms and legs were amputated when he was just three years old to save him from a rare form of Meningitis. Thursday, the now seven-year-old is getting ready to move into a new house built especially for him.More >>
    Austin Coffee’s arms and legs were amputated when he was just three years old to save him from a rare form of Meningitis. Thursday, the now seven-year-old is getting ready to move into a new house built especially for him.More >>
  • Watering restrictions in effect for Brandon

    Watering restrictions in effect for Brandon

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:28 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:28:27 GMT
    Starting Thursday, neighbors in Brandon will be under a water restriction. Those with even-number addresses can water on even-number days and those with odd-number addresses can water on odd-number days.  Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Starting Thursday, neighbors in Brandon will be under a water restriction. Those with even-number addresses can water on even-number days and those with odd-number addresses can water on odd-number days. Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
    Starting Thursday, neighbors in Brandon will be under a water restriction. Those with even-number addresses can water on even-number days and those with odd-number addresses can water on odd-number days.  Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for everyone. More >>
    Starting Thursday, neighbors in Brandon will be under a water restriction. Those with even-number addresses can water on even-number days and those with odd-number addresses can water on odd-number days.  Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for everyone. More >>
  • Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Raising the standard of cancer care

    Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Raising the standard of cancer care

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:14:28 GMT
    It's a fair bet that cancer has touched your life. Whether it's you personally or through a friend or a loved one. While the diagnosis can be crushing, it's not a defeat. With each day, medicines and tools are getting better.More >>
    It's a fair bet that cancer has touched your life. Whether it's you personally or through a friend or a loved one. While the diagnosis can be crushing, it's not a defeat. With each day, medicines and tools are getting better.
    More >>
  • Prosecutor: Doctor fires back at hospital gunman who killed one

    Prosecutor: Doctor fires back at hospital gunman who killed one

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:40 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:40:00 GMT
    A psychiatrist who was grazed by gunfire from a patient at a hospital on Thursday helped stop the patient by apparently using his own weapon to shoot and wound him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said.More >>
    A psychiatrist who was grazed by gunfire from a patient at a hospital on Thursday helped stop the patient by apparently using his own weapon to shoot and wound him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said.More >>
  • Officials: ISIS blows up Jonah's tomb in Iraq

    Officials: ISIS blows up Jonah's tomb in Iraq

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:38 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:38:55 GMT
    If you blink during the video, you might miss the moment Jonah's tomb in Mosul, Iraq, explodes. The first few frames show the revered shrine towering over its landscape. There's a sudden burst of dust, fire and smoke. Then, nothing.More >>
    If you blink during the video, you might miss the moment Jonah's tomb in Mosul, Iraq, explodes. The first few frames show the revered shrine towering over its landscape. There's a sudden burst of dust, fire and smoke. Then, nothing.
    More >>
  • Prep work begins for fence installation at Van Eps Park

    Prep work begins for fence installation at Van Eps Park

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:25 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:25:53 GMT
    Van Eps park has seen a lot of activity the past few weeks. Many have complained about people hanging out and drinking in the park. Thursday, the park was busy with construction equipment.More >>
    Van Eps park has seen a lot of activity the past few weeks. Many have complained about people hanging out and drinking in the park. Thursday, the park was busy with construction equipment.More >>
  • Joseph Patterson pleads not guilty while arraigned for alleged attack on ex-girlfriend

    Joseph Patterson pleads not guilty while arraigned for alleged attack on ex-girlfriend

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:16 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:16:55 GMT
    Joseph Patterson has been arraigned on his indictment for charges stemming from his alleged assault and attack on his former girlfriend.More >>
    Joseph Patterson has been arraigned on his indictment for charges stemming from his alleged assault and attack on his former girlfriend.More >>
  • RAGBRAI rider from Sioux City dies in Mason City

    RAGBRAI rider from Sioux City dies in Mason City

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:48:39 GMT
    A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.More >>
    A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.