Man Sentenced For Killing Woman In Crash
by Jill Johnson
January 25, 2013 5:52 PM
The man who pleaded guilty to killing one person and injuring another while drinking and driving this summer was sentenced on Friday. Forty-one-year-old Darren Boomgarden pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter and his second DUI.
It was on July 28 that Boomgarden said he been drinking and had taken a prescription sleep aid before driving to a fast food restaurant and hitting a motorcyle with his vehicle. It was his decision to drink and drive that sent the driver, Sean Burns, to the hospital and led to the death of 36-year-old Tracy Handel. A woman, her sister describes as a kind and loving person.
Tammy Handel said, "As long as you were kind to her, she was kind back to you."
On Friday, Boomgarden learned the consequences of his actions. The judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison, with 15 years suspended, and credit for the time he's already served. No doubt, considered by many, to be a lenient sentence.
Handel said, "I was pretty sure what I asked for was more than what the judge was legally going to be able to do."
The judge says it has a lot to do with Tracy's family. In the courtroom, Handel told the man who caused her sister's death, he was forgiven.
Handel said, "Today was the first time he looked in my face and I looked in his eyes and I waited six months for that."
Handel even walked over to Boomgarden and while crying, gave him a hug and told him everything was going to be okay.
"I saw a man that was being crushed alive by his guilt and his shame and someone that would do anything to take it back and he couldn't fix it," said Handel.
Boomgarden says when he is done serving his time he will spend the rest of his life trying to fix things. He will try to honor Tracy and help those he hurt, including Burns.
Burns said, "We've all made mistakes as human beings and although we are liable for our mistakes, we can be forgiven."
Knowing that nothing can bring their daughter, sister, aunt and friend back.
Burns said, "She was a good friend and it's not just me that's going to miss her, the whole world's going to miss her."
Boomgarden will be eligible for parole after serving two years. Handel says someday she wants to visit area schools and churches with Boomgarden to talk to people about the consequences of drinking and driving.