Widow of Dan Hanegby Bares Full Anguish at Sentencing of Husband’s Killer
Before Coach USA bus driver was sentenced to the maximum of 30 days in prison for driving into Dan Hanegby and killing him, the victim’s widow, Sasha Hanegby, read a statement to the court. We are reprinting it in full.
I didn’t realize when I woke up on the morning of June 12, 2017, that my entire life was about to irreversibly change. As I prepared for work, I showered, kissed my children and my husband goodbye and headed out for the day.
I replay that morning in my head over and over again. At the time, I was unaware that I would never again feel the sense of love and security again. Had I known, I would have tried to hold onto that moment for just a little bit longer.
Dan, my husband, was responsible for the morning routine of our children. He cooked for our son and our daughter every morning and accompanied our son to school every day. Being with the children were his favorite hours of the day. Dan’s face lit up when he was surrounded by our children. He was the most loving and engaged parent that they could ever ask for. And he shared the same love and passion for me as my husband and partner over the last 17 years.
My life and my children’s lives were ruined by a reckless decision of the driver. In one minute, our happy family unit was torn apart. One bad and irresponsible decision … and my children lost their father. How does a mother say to her children and tell them that he will never come back. How do I raise them to honor the spirit of the man that he was? How do I keep the memories alive for my 4-year-old daughter, who already has a hard time remembering? It’s devastatingly unjust that my children will never see the look of love from their father. It’s impossible to find the right words to describe the loneliness, the sadness, the unfairness and the pain they feel on an every day basis. It is impossible to find the words to describe here today how my heart breaks when my children ask why their father cannot jump from the sky and come and hug them. It is impossible to find the right words to describe how it feels when I advise them that he is in their hearts and they can speak to him and they say, “But mommy, we can’t hear him.”
They are 7 and 4 years old now. … I look at the photos of their last birthday parties with him and I am scared that they will never be as happy as they were then. They are incapable of understanding the concept of death. Their inquiries are so piercing and heart-wrenching to me and they are a constant reminder of our devastating loss. They are also a constant reminder that I have no sufficient answers for them, no matter how hard I try. I look for him everywhere I go, but he isn’t there. I am heartbroken and so are my children.
No sentence will bring back my children’s father. Every single moment of our lives, we are reminded of the painful loss we have suffered and the unfairness. That said, as a mother and a widow, it is important for me to fight for some justice for Dan, my husband and the father of my children. In doing so, I ask you to assign the hardest punishment possible to the driver. I ask you, your honor, if this would be your family, how would you want justice?