SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) –Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our streets and highways. Cell phones are the main culprit, according to the National Safety Council.
April is distracted driving awareness month and a Sioux Falls man is making an emotional plea to drivers.
“It was August 13th and it was just like any other day,” Mark Kirschenman said.
But it didn’t end like any other day.
“I would say it was the worst day of my life absolutely, I’ll never forget that,” Kirschenman said.
Mark Kirschenman and his wife, Kari, were hit on their motorcycle by a distracted driver at 85th and Hughes as they sat at a stoplight.
He says life changed in the blink of an eye.
“I just remember flying through the air and I remember saying to myself, ‘this is it this is how it’s going to end,” Kirschenman said.
Kirschenman broke several bones and badly scraped up his face.
But sadly Kari was pronounced dead at the scene.
He remembers on the way to the hospital asking the EMT about Kari.
“I started asking her is this real, is this a dream, is this a nightmare and then she grabbed my face and said I’m sorry sir this is real,” Kirschenman said.
“This whole thing is absolutely senseless,” Kirschenman said.
Now he’s asking people to listen to his story and hopes something good can come from it.
“You know Don there’s a reason why I am here, if I can help someone, if someone can see this and watch this and have it resonate with them and maybe next time before sending that last text when you’re driving or grabbing for that food or trying to find something in your car or changing the radio station that they might think twice about it and maybe they’ll save someone’s life and maybe they’ll save their own life as well,” Kirschenman said.
This Thursday would have been Mark and Kari’s 32nd wedding anniversary.