The 25-year-old South Dakota man who hit and killed a Minnesota bicyclist with his pick-up truck Monday was distracted by a mobile banking phone call.
Court documents say Christopher Weber was listening to menu options and trying to figure out which button to push when he hit and killed 33-year-old Andrea Boeve - who was riding her bike near Steen, Minnesota.
Weber made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon on charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular injury.
Weber is facing a maximum of 13 years in prison after he was arrested Monday for hitting and killing Boeve. Boeve's one-year-old and four-year-old daughters were riding in a bike trailer and were injured in the crash.
Court documents say Weber, who is a Madison, South Dakota native, was found performing CPR on Boeve when first responders arrived on scene.
Weber is a member of the South Dakota National Guard. Chaplain Captain David Stimes said after court Wednesday that it's a terrible situation for both Weber's family and Boeve's family.
"As a chaplain for Sergeant Weber and the South Dakota Guard I'm here to support him but I'm also praying for the (Boeve) family. As a pastor my heart and my prayers most of all go out to them and those kids as well," Stimes said.
Weber received an award for his work sandbagging in the Dakota Dunes area with the South Dakota National Guard during the 2011 flooding on the Missouri River. Weber also served in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010.
"That's a pretty tough deployment as well. A lot of that work is sweeping roads looking for bombs," Stimes said.
Weber is now staring down tough charges. A criminal complaint says he told investigators he didn't see Boeve on the side of Minnesota Highway 270 near Steen. Weber said he was listening to menu options on an automated mobile banking call and trying to figure out which buttons to push.
"We don't suspect any drugs or alcohol involved. We just believe it was completely distracted driving and not paying attention," Minnesota State Patrol Lieutenant Matt Sorenson said.
Authorities say Boeve and her two young daughters were all wearing helmets. The crash happened less than a quarter of a mile from Boeve's home. Court documents say a family member was actually driving behind Weber and saw the crash happen.
While Chaplain Stimes was at the Rock County Courthouse Wednesday to show support for Weber, he also is hurting for the Boeves.
"This is a tough situation for everybody but from what I know of him he's a good soldier and a pretty good young man," Stimes said.
Court documents say Boeve's one-year-old daughter was treated and released from the hospital. She was riding in a car seat in the bike trailer. Boeve's four-year-old daughter was hospitalized with a broken rib and a punctured lung.