The semi-truck driver who rear-ended and killed a school professor at a purple mild on Minnesota 36 in Lake Elmo in 2018 says he replays that deadly second in his head many occasions a day.
“There wasn’t something I may do,” Samuel Hicks says in a video on distracted driving, launched Thursday by the Minnesota Division of Public Security. “I used to be uncontrolled. From the time I seemed down at my telephone till the time that I seemed up, eight seconds had handed. I by no means realized how far you journey in eight seconds.”
Hicks, 30, says he was texting along with his then-girlfriend and utilizing the Zillow real-estate app to take a look at a home itemizing on his cellphone when he struck and killed Robert Bursik, 54, of Amery, Wis.
“I pulled out my telephone to take a look at it, to see what she was speaking about,” he says. “I assumed it could be high quality. I assumed, ‘Nothing will occur.’ He was stopped at a stoplight. I used to be going 63 miles per hour. It hit so arduous that my truck went on prime of his automotive. I couldn’t steer. The brakes didn’t do something. I couldn’t do something.”
The ten-minute video, “Eight Seconds: One Deadly Distraction,” is the primary interview that Hicks has achieved in regards to the Feb. 27, 2018, incident. It was recorded in January on the Washington County Jail; Hicks, who was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide, was launched in March.
Hicks labored for a trucking firm in Eau Claire, Wis. He says within the video that he was leaving his “second-to-last (supply) cease” for the day and was heading again to Wisconsin when he struck Bursik’s Scion XB.
“I seemed up proper earlier than I hit the car, and my truck went proper on prime of his automotive and pushed him all over the intersection,” Hicks says. “I received out of the truck as quick as I may, and I ran again to the automotive. By then, it sank in absolutely that it was too late.”
Bursik’s automotive was so mangled that it needed to be towed to the Lake Elmo Fireplace Division, the place it took crews a number of hours to extricate his physique, says his spouse, Jessica Bursik, within the video. “That may be a haunting picture in my thoughts that I take into consideration on a regular basis,” she says.
Whereas photographs of Bursik along with his spouse and three kids flash on the display, Jessica Bursik and daughter Jaci Davis clarify that Bursik missed seeing Davis’ wedding ceremony, the beginning of his first grandson and his eldest son’s school commencement. He won’t ever get to see his youngest son, Ian, develop up, they are saying.
“I really feel so unhappy for my son — that he by no means received to satisfy him and have him as a grandpa,” Davis says. “It’s simply so arduous to consider that he doesn’t get to be right here for the world and proceed making an impression.”
Bursik, a professor at North Hennepin Group School in Brooklyn Park, additionally was the proprietor and founding father of Dragonfly Gardens, a nursery and greenhouse with areas in Amery and Turtle Lake, Wis.
The video concludes with Hicks, the daddy of two younger kids, issuing a warning to anybody who would possibly take into account driving whereas distracted.
“You positively don’t wish to be that one who takes another person’s life,” he says. “You don’t wish to go to jail over it. You don’t wish to damage your personal household and their household. I do know sooner or later, my household will get to have me again for holidays, however Mr. Bursik’s household gained’t have him again for any future holidays. It’s heartbreaking to know that that occurred — to know that I prompted that, to know that it’s my fault.
“I can’t say I’m sorry sufficient,’ he says. “I can’t inform you how dangerous I really feel realizing that it’s important to develop up with out your father. I want I may take all of it again. I want I may change the occasions. Getting one textual content and checking one Zillow hyperlink led to a lifetime of remorse, regret, disappointment, heartbreak. This may occur to anyone. All it takes is one poor determination.”