DURHAM, Calif. - My name is Tony Mardesich. I was recently involved in an auto accident that caused the death of Rick Butler Magee. I will always regret taking my eyes off the road and the loss of life and pain it caused. I regret even more letting my fear and shame prevent me from meeting my moral and legal obligations.
Although I stopped after the accident, I panicked and left without rendering aid, leaving witnesses to activate emergency services. I also made matters worse with a bumbling attempt to cover up my actions.
I truly don't know what came over me, except that I acted out of an overwhelming sense of shame and fear about what would happen to me, my wife and family, rather than concern about Rick Magee, his longtime friend and family.
Hiding my guilt and remorse caused serious mental and physical health consequences. I could not live any longer without acknowledging what I had done, and confessed to my family. Unlike me, they did the honorable thing and contacted the authorities.
Please learn from this story. Distracted driving kills, and not immediately accepting responsibility makes matters worse.
My decisions ended a life and forever altered many others. I will do everything in my power to bring some sense of peace to those that I have hurt, starting by accepting responsibility for my actions and inaction, and offering my sincere apologies to Rick Magee's longtime friend, family and friends. I am truly sorry for what I have done.
—Tony Mardesich, Gridley