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Patricia Schmidt letter of apology

Published: Saturday, April 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST
(Monica Maschak –
Patricia Schmidt, 48, of Sycamore, sits at the defense table during the first day of her trial Jan. 28. She is accused of reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving in the Feb. 21, 2011, crash that killed two people.

Note to readers: The following is an open letter from Patricia Schmidt, who was acquitted April 3 on charges of reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving in a crash that killed Tim Getzelman and Lexi Weber. 

To the parents of Tim

Getzelman and Lexi Weber:

All good defense attorneys will tell you, “No matter how sorry you are, do not talk to the families!”

Starting the evening of Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, I cried for the two young people who died in the accident, whose names I did not yet know. 

I asked my attorney repeatedly if I could talk to someone in the young people’s families. Each time I was told, “absolutely not!” Please understand that in all my years, I have never had anything even close to this happen. 

I was raised to say that I was sorry to the family of anyone who had passed on, no matter the circumstances, but especially this night and in this circumstance.

When I was finally told Tim’s and Lexi’s names and ages, my heartache for you became permanent in me. My faith teaches that souls entering Heaven are healthy, whole and worry free. I thanked God for that, however knowing their young lives were cut short made me cry more.

However, again your losses were always my concern, first and foremost. I know the pain of losing dear friends, friends’ children and my own parents, but I can’t imagine the anguish of losing a child you have loved and raised.

When you saw me sitting silently at the courthouse, it was not because I did not want to come apologize to you, but because of my attorney’s instruction. I tried to stay calm and pay attention, but I felt I was being cold and rude, not the way I was raised to behave. 

Through these terrible three years, I’ve written many letters to you, but, they remained unsent. And because I felt it was unwise and perhaps you would find it disrespectful, I didn’t respond to any social media posts. 

I have remained quiet publicly, but expressed all my feelings in counseling sessions, during which I learned that I needed to let my faith sustain me in my grief over Tim and Lexi. For three years I have prayed for grace and peace to enter your hearts, as well as mine. 

I pray for your children every single day without fail. And on special days, like birthdays and such, I ask them to be extra close to you. 

Now that I’ve explained why I have been silent and less than forthcoming about the accident with you directly, I want to tell you … I am sorry! 

I don’t expect you to be able to forgive me. My remorse and regret over Tim’s and Lexi’s deaths are permanent and profound. I will not be applying for a driver’s license, ever.

Tim and Lexi, as I’ve discovered in these three years, were fantastic young people, who had wonderful plans for their futures, legions of faithful friends and proud parents and families.  

I hope you don’t find it disrespectful of me to refer to them by their given names. I do so because I will be living with Tim and Lexi in my heart and mind till my last day.

Patricia Schmidt


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