On Wednesday, Theresa Marie O'Connor was informed what her sentence would be for killing Ernesto Wiedenbrug in a hit and run on January 25th. Roughly 50 cyclists and most of the major local media outlets were in attendance. Ernesto's brothers made a taped statement from Germany.
O'Connor pleaded guilty to two charges; Leaving the scene of a crash a class 3 felony and careless driving, a class 1 traffic offense.
4 years probation.
200 hours community service.
1 year in jail (w/ work release if she has a job.)
$24,487 in restitution to Ernesto's family and just over $5,000 to Bike Fort Collins.
DMV will ultimately decide how long her license will be revoked.
June 14th transformed lives.
She wasn’t drunk. She wasn’t high. She has no criminal record.
Peggy Brown wasn’t texting, IM’ing, or chatting on the phone. She was driving. A visitor from Des Moines, she was driving to the Sculpture Garden around the picturesque Loveland Lake on Father’s day weekend. She is 72.
Jeff Wicks, my husband, set out on a 4 hour training ride on the same big blue skied Colorado morning. August 3rd beckoned—his first full IRONMAN; A goal for himself in his 40th year.
Their lives collided in Loveland: He, on his recently purchased and pined for beautiful tri bike, she, in her white Mazda protégé.
An abrupt errant turn; an elite athlete making great time on his ride, and a collision. 170 pounds of cyclist flesh pounding into a passenger window…shattering it, and life as we knew it.
Look all ways.
And then. She fled. She left my husband on the asphalt, broken and bleeding. She left a human on the road; his blood on her car amidst the beads of glass.
While Peggy panicked, Jeff bled.
I got the call. “It would be best if you don’t bring your children.”
Still adorning pajamas, I put keys in the ignition and remember little else of the drive. Walking toward the ER, the father of our children bloodied and silent, lay splayed on a gurney. Meatloaf. I heard labored breathing through coagulated nostrils. Meatloaf with life.
Massive road rash, patella edema, fractured wrist, stapled double wrist lacerations, tendon damage, 7 inch moon-shaped stapled shoulder laceration, fractured tooth, at-risk teeth, broken nose, major soft tissue facial trauma, and…head trauma.
Oh Peggy. I know you meant no harm, yet harmed you did. You severely injured and deserted a HUMAN in need. Given you are 72…I implore you to teach your descendants to never follow those tiresteps. Thank-you.
Run from it or learn from it.
Pettiness is not my MO. Holding onto ‘other people’s crap’ that gets flung intentionally or not...won’t help my husband play with his little kiddos with ease, assist him with his return to OtterBox any quicker, get back to training for his ironman dream any sooner, or take any of our pain away.
We. Are. Fractured.
I fed a grown man jello. I helped pick tooth fragments and white mazda protégé paint chip fragments out of his mangled face. Helplessly, I watched an incredibly strong man crumble a little when his daughter was afraid to approach his ‘new face’.
And, Peggy Brown, 72, from Des Moines, Iowa…
I. Forgive. You.
I’m not holding onto the darkness. It’s all yours. I wish you the best.
We’re forging ahead. PT. OT, ST, NeuroPsych, Ortho, and Dentistry beckon. Jeff Wicks really is an Ironman. So there.