Convicted drugged driver James Burk and his victims still had visible injuries from their year-ago crash when they appeared in court Thursday for Burk’s sentencing.
Burk favored one leg. Timothy Davis Jr., who had been taking his two sons to a soccer game when Burk hit them head-on, said he now uses a walker. His sons’ long-lasting injuries mean they won’t be able to play all the sports they loved before the crash.
He wasn’t mollified by the 11-year sentence handed down by Judge Charles Kubicki. Burk’s apology didn’t move him, either.
“I don’t think a little bit of time does justice,” Davis said.
According to police, the crash that injured Davis and his sons wasn’t the first one Burk caused on Oct. 12, 2019. He had crashed — and been arrested — hours before he got back on the road.
The first time, no one was injured. Police charged Burk with operating a vehicle while impaired and possession of cocaine, then took him to jail. His girlfriend bailed him out.
“Getting arrested doesn’t stop him,” Delhi Township Officer Brad Doerger said in court.
Burk got in his girlfriend’s car, got back on the road and hit the Davis family while driving at high speeds in the wrong lane. The splintering impact left pieces of both vehicles scattered across the road.
He was high at the time, he said.
A bystander’s recorded 911 call includes the sound of Burk shouting and one of Davis’s sons asking whether his father will be OK.
Kubicki sentenced Burk to 11 years at the request of the prosecution.
“I can tell you that I'm very sympathetic to someone who has a substance abuse problem,” Kubicki said. “I have very little or no sympathy for someone with a substance abuse problem who just decides to go ahead and put innocent people in harm’s way.”
Davis will continue physical therapy for the injuries he received in the crash. He plans to seek counseling to help his sons recover, too.