More than ten months after Norwich University student Renee Robbins was killed in a drunk driving crash, her parents say the pain is still crippling.
“This has left a hole in my heart that cannot be filled. I cry everyday at the fact that Renee is not around me,” said Raemilee Robbins, Renee’s mother.
And they blame one man — her classmate, 23-year-old Derek Seber, who agreed to drive Robbins and six other students home from an off-campus party last October.
“My daughter and her friends simply wanted a safe ride home, not a one way hell ride down a windy, rainy road,” said Mark Robbins, Renee’s father.
Seber was twice the legal limit when he got behind the wheel. Eighteen year-old Robbins, who had dreams of military service and a career in the FBI, died in the arms of a friend when Seber crashed. Robbins’ dad is a former Marine and Massachusetts State Trooper.
“Instead of dying battling for justice in the American way, begging for her life from you, Derek Seber. A confessed drunk driver. Coward,” Mark Robbins said.
Seber’s tearful parents apologized to the Robbins family and vowed to make something positive come from this tragedy. “The knowledge of what our young and promising son has done, brings me to my knees on a daily basis,” said Susan Seber, Derek’s mother.
Seber told the court he will spend the rest of his life educating others on the dangers of drunk driving. “I assure you that the only alcohol in my future will be preventing this from happening again,” he said.
“Even good people make terrible mistakes, Mr. Seber. But it’s the court’s job to hold them to account,” said Vt. Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen.
The judge sentenced Seber to 2.5 years behind bars. A sentence the Robbins call a despicable slap on the wrist. “You took my first born — my baby girl. For that, I will never forgive you,” he said.
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