|For Immediate Release
Case # 11WM03067
March 13, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DISTRACTED DRIVER CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR KILLING 8-YEAR-OLD BOY ON BIKE
WESTMINSTER – A distracted driver was convicted today of killing an 8-year-old boy by crashing into the victim as he was riding his bike to school. Anita Sue Cherry, 49, Westminster, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of reckless driving and was sentenced to three years of informal probation and 300 hours of community service.
At approximately 8:00 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2011, Cherry was driving southbound on Shawnee Road in Westminster in a Ford sport utility vehicle. The defendant briefly looked down as she drove through the intersection at Iroquois Road and crashed into 8-year-old Andrew James Brumback, also known as AJ, who was wearing a helmet and riding his bike to school.
Brumback was thrown from his bike. Cherry remained at the scene and waited for police to arrive. When officers from the Westminster Police Department (WPD) arrived, Brumback’s bike was still underneath the front of Cherry’s vehicle. The defendant was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash.
Brumback was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to multiple blunt traumatic injuries.
At the sentencing today, Brumback’s mother and brother gave victim impact statements to the court. His mother Debbie said, in part, “The loss of AJ has severely wounded our family and deeply injured a community of adults and children who knew him as a friend. I have had a year to put this letter together and am still at a loss for words. How do I continue to move each day without my little boy? My daughter Anna still will not open up and talk about the incident. She was blaming herself for a long time and is longing for her brother and best friend. My son Aaron won’t admit to new friends that he even had a brother because he would have to explain what happened. My husband Bill misses his ‘little buddy’ that used to watch all sports events with him. At school, AJ’s friends tell me how much they miss him. His best friend, Ryan, has been in therapy and hurts to find a friend to play with and share his secrets with. He misses the love of his friend. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my little AJ.”
The victim’s brother Aaron said of Cherry, in part, “I would like you to know that you are forgiven. I pray and hope that you have learned to forgive yourself. Despite whatever pain I have, and continually will, experience, I deeply and truly desire for your happiness, good will, and peace of heart.”
WPD investigated this case. Deputy District Attorney Diana King prosecuted this case.