A judge Thursday sentenced a 27-year-old Hickman man to 12 to 16 years for taking the life of a Lincoln doctor struck riding his bike on Saltillo Road in September.
Everett Hoesing told Lancaster County Sheriff’s deputies Sept. 22 that he didn't see Dr. Douglas Dalke, who was slowing to turn south onto 54th Street, until it was too late. Hoesing said he tried to stop, but couldn’t and hit Dalke from behind at 60 mph.
Dalke, 57, died at the scene of the crash.
Hoesing had been drinking most of the day, upset about a break-up, and even two hours after the crash, his blood alcohol tested at more than twice the legal limit.
Prosecutors charged him with motor vehicle homicide. In June, he pleaded guilty.
At sentencing Thursday, Deputy Lancaster County Public Defender Yohance Christie said Hoesing wanted to take as much responsibility as he could.
“If ever there was a person that was truly remorseful for their actions and mistakes, that person appears before you today,” he said.
Then, Hoesing stood up and turned to face Dalke’s family and friends and apologized.
“My actions were selfish and irresponsible, and I sincerely do regret them,” he said.
Hoesing said he has to live with knowing he took the life of a father and son.
“There is no punishment that is enough for that,” he said.
Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Chris Turner said while Hoesing may want to categorize what happened as an accident, Dalke’s death wasn't unexpected or unavoidable. Hoesing had started drinking beer that morning and moved up to shots of whiskey, then got behind the wheel of a car.
“Doug’s family and friends will continue to suffer the consequences,” he said.
Dalke won’t be able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding or play with his grandkids, Turner said.
Lancaster County District Judge Robert Otte said Dalke clearly had cast a wide net in the community. Family, patients, church members and colleagues all wrote him letters.
“My sentence cannot heal the pain that was caused,” he said.
Otte said he understands that Hoesing had gotten devastating news the day he came upon Dalke. Drinking to excess wasn’t the mistake, climbing into the vehicle was, he said.
But, before this, Hoesing had led a relatively good life, his guilty plea prevented the pain of a trial for the family, and he had expressed true remorse, Otte said.
“Ultimately you’ll have to live with causing the death of this man. And that’s an incredible pain, I understand,” he said, before giving the prison sentence and revoking his license for 10 years starting the day he gets out.
With good time, Hoesing will be eligible for parole after serving six years. He’s already served 296 days.
Dalke's family sat quietly, some with tears in their eyes, as jailers took Hoesing out the back door.
In the hallway, they declined to comment.
Dalke had worked for Gastroenterology Specialties in Lincoln since 1990 and served on the board of directors of the Community Blood Bank.