My sister, Kristan, Fred's wife, just called a few minutes ago. She gave me the news re: Fred's trial and the potential for the sentence.
Most of you recall that, on July 28th last year, Fred' truck struck a 14-year old girl who was beginning to cross a highway in Fairbanks, AK, with her bike. Her death was instant and a heartbreaking experience for many, many people. So much has taken place between the legal and justice groups that it has taken much longer for the verdict and sentencing than was anticipated. And, besides the girl, Kirsten, who died, another girl, connected to the family, just moving into the street, was also injured, although not severely.
Basically, this is the final result. He has been sentenced to 2-1/2 years -- 2 years for Kirsten and 1/2 year for the other girl. He will not be going to jail or prison, but will be spending time in a half-way house for several months and/or will have an ankle "bracelet" for home, or a bit of a mix. He will be w/o a driver's license for the 2-1/2 years, except for driving to and from work and church. He will also be on parole for 10 years. The final decisions, breaking all these details down and putting them in total accuracy, will occur September 10th.
Kristan said that the sad part was that although about 70 people showed up in court to support and encourage Fred, the girl's parents, her brother [who witnessed this accident], and another couple of relatives were the only 5 people that came for their side. Kristan said she nearly cried for their sake, because of their "aloneness" at such a hard event. One other aspect is that, even though the parents were struggling in their marriage before their daughter was killed, and had been going to counseling and seeing if things could be worked out, they have now divorced. Kristan also said that the dad is on anxiety meds, has lost a great deal of weight, lost his hair and, overall, is just looking sad.
One thing Fred did was to read a letter he wrote for the trial. He said, and many know this, that he did not see the red light. He had been distracted -- NOT a cell phone -- glancing across the highway, and when he looked back, the girl was looking at his face as the truck hit her. He gave much appreciation for the father's forgiveness, and showed much sorrow for their loss of a daughter. [He is very evangelically "gifted" and also is a mentor for the youth at their church, so this was a real slam, in more ways than one.]
One thing Kristan told me showed such wisdom. Before the trial, she said to her sons and others that they must not show any concern about any long sentence he might be given. She told them that even if it was some years, and prison, it would be less time than what the girl's family was going through, having lost her forever.
I appreciate what some of you have indicated to me since this began, and I wanted to be sure this info was out to you before I was side-tracked by anything else.
Unless something unusual hits this finally, I won't be in contact about it. You get the main drift and that's the important part.
Thanks so much.