The Garfield Court invited me to submit a victim statement for the criminal case for the driver who killed Kim.
The pre-trial hearings last a few minutes and then are postponed for nearly a month.
Here’s my addendum to the statement for December.
I wrote the victim impact statement two months ago for the pre-trial date of October 18, 2016 and updated it for the second scheduled pre-trial date of November 15, 2016. It’s a month later I am updating it a third time for the scheduled pre-trial date of December 13, 2016.
I don’t know if the court can understand how painful and exhausting it is to have these delays.
In my statement about “Sanction for the Defendant” I said that I was not vengeful but wanted the judgement to help ensure the safety of others in the future. Given that, I don’t understand how the defendant’s truck was returned to him and he’s back on the road before the criminal case is resolved. I don’t understand how this encourages him to seek a speedy resolution. And so this process continues at a slow pace while he goes back to work, changes attorneys, and searches for experts who look to reconstruct what happened long after all the evidence is gone.
I just don’t understand.
It’s months later and the roads are now icy. Will the court remember that on the August day when a truck rammed into my wife’s car that the roads were dry and visibility was good?
Will the court remember that we lost a young, caring, vibrant member of our family and community?
I understand that a defendant has rights.
But many of us suffered a great loss. I hope the court retains sight of that loss when it comes time to evaluate the evidence and rule.
Since the last time the court met, my daughter and I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for Kim’s and my relatives. Eighteen of us gathered at my table and every one of us felt Kim’s absence.
The next day we buried her ashes next to our youngest daughter’s grave. Kim and I survived the loss of one daughter. I have to survive Kim’s loss without Kim to help me through it.
Saturday I went to our block party. It’s a progressive dinner party. All of the couples on the street and me. They were all so nice, but this was something Kim and I have done together for the seventeen years we lived on this street. A neighbor put Christmas ornaments up in a garden at the foot of our street for Kim. Her loss is felt by the community.
People send me messages online and stop me when they see me in the grocery store or at a coffee shop. They all have a story of some way that Kim touched them this time of year.
We haven’t bought our Christmas tree yet. Every ornament will remind us of a time that Kim did this or that.
So while the defendant is back at work driving the same truck that he drove into Kim’s little car ending her life, we still stumble through the day – a little stronger, a little better – but still struggling to understand.
It’s time to move ahead with the criminal trial. It’s time to help us understand.