Weber speaks to students about distracted driving
Even though he has already completed the required 300 hours of community service and half his jail sentence, Chris Weber continues to tell the public about the consequences of distracted driving because he wants to.
Weber, who pled guilty to criminal vehicular homicide earlier this year, spent Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Sioux County, Iowa, talking with students and staff at four area high schools.
“I am doing these (talks) because I want to do them,” Weber said Monday in a phone interview.
Working with local law enforcement officials, Weber starts his message of “Don’t text and drive” by showing a video made by the Minnesota State Patrol and state Department of Public Safety.
The video titled “Shattered Dreams: Distracted Driving Changes Lives” puts students in Weber’s shoes that fateful day, June 30, 2014.
That’s the day that Weber, then 26, was driving east on Highway 270 near Steen when he decided to use his cell phone.
Because his eyes were on his phone and not on the road, he struck and killed 33-year-old Andrea Boeve, Steen, who was enjoying a bike ride with her two young daughters in tow.
“I still struggle with it (the accident),” Weber admitted. “It's one day at a time.”
How he copes with the accident’s aftermath is the most common question asked by students at his speaking engagements, Weber said.
He tells of the sleepless nights and the calls to a close friend or family member at 3 a.m. when images from the accident surface the most.
Weber served six months in jail earlier this year and will serve an additional three months in 2016 and three more in 2017.
Since the accident, Weber has moved to Madison, South Dakota, where he has a new job working in construction.
His flexible schedule allows him to accept speaking engagements when asked. He said he has not been actively searching for audiences but will attend an event through the cooperation with local law enforcement.
Weber said he first spoke at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, before going to the high schools of Western Christian, Boyden-Hull, Netherlands Reformed and Rock Valley in Sioux County, Iowa.
Upcoming speaking engagements include Grant-Deuel High School near Revillo, South Dakota, and LeMars, Iowa.