MICHAELA SPOOLSTRA - SISTER
My name is Michaela Spoolstra, I am Zach’s younger sister.
Today I stand on behalf of my brother Zachary Scott Spoolstra, and in honor of his spirit that is in this room with us today watching and listening. The unjust, unnecessary death of my brother Zach that was caused by Joshawa’s lack of responsibility and demeanor, could have been and should have been prevented.
When I was asked to give an impact statement, I found myself thinking about what the word “impact” really meant. The definition of impact has two different meanings. The first is, “the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another object.” Just like the impact of Joshawa’s white chevy blazer “forcibly” coming in contact with Zach’s motorcycle, that resulted in the death of my 24-year-old brother.
The second meaning is “ the effect or influence of one person, thing, action, on another.” The impact of Zach’s life and the result of Joshawa’s behaviors is what has brought us all here today. The impact of Joshawa’s choice to drive while intoxicated has not only impacted my family but will impact Joshawa’s life forever. Everyone has the ability to make their own right or wrong choices, and if you choose the wrong, they should lead to extreme and life-changing consequences.
"The unjust, unecessary death of my brother Zach...could have been and should have been prevented."
Yesterday I read the police reports for the first time, where Joshawa claimed to be and I quote, “miserably remorseful.” For an individual (Joshawa) to claim that he is and was “miserably remorseful” for killing Zach did not seem to add up. How can Joshawa be “miserably remorseful” when the incident happened and he did not even bother to get out of his vehicle and check to see if Zach was okay? This is the first instinct ANY human being should have if they hurt someone to check on them and make sure they are okay.
This seems deliberately deceiving for Joshawa who claims to be a medical professional to have NO inkling, NO understanding what he had just done, and if he was really “miserably remorseful” like Joshawa said he was, he would have made the effort to open his car door and run towards my brother Zach’s body that laid on the ground suffering for the last minutes of his life.
I ask you Joshawa, and judge Southworth to think about whether he was really “miserably remorseful” for his own selfish reasons, just because he got caught, or was he “miserably remorseful” for my brother Zach who laid on the ground dying. Joshawa did NOT have the honorable demeanor that a medical professional like he claims to be and his friends say that he is. He should have checked on Zach immediately after the accident. I know that YOU are only “miserably remorseful” for yourself, and I know that your life will continue to be a living hell until YOU realize what you should be “miserably remorseful” for. Not for just yourself, but for Zach who will never get to make another decision in this world again. This is due to your own selfish choices that YOU made. You killed my brother Zach in an act of selfish, irresponsible, and repulsive behavior.
"This is due to your own selfish choices that YOU made. You killed my brother Zach in an act of selfish, irresponsible, and repulsive behavior."
Joshawa, I am also aware that this is not your first offense. It is not only driving while intoxicated but the history of your actions that brought you here today. That being said, the “pre-agreement” for your consequences of 3 ½ years in prison is worth less than nothing for your irresponsible behavior that has been going on for over 15 years.
I recently graduated from Northwest Nazarene University in Kinesiology, which I am sure you know is sports medicine, and will continue on to pursue my career in becoming a physical therapist. Coming from a “medical professional” background like yourself, I know that 3 ½ years is a slap on the wrist. Most of us do not even remember the first 3 ½ years of our life, so this “consequence” of killing Zach is something you, Joshawa, will forget because 3 ½ years is EASY to forget in a lifetime.
In conclusion, I respectfully ask Judge Southworth to think about whether 3 ½ years is enough time for Joshawa to turn his life around, from a lifetime of denial, irresponsible behavior, and selfish choices. Joshawa, I ask YOU to please be honest with yourself. It appears that you’re only “miserably remorseful” for your own selfish reasons. I truly believe that until YOU realize the impact your choice made on my entire family and everyone that loved my brother, then you’ll continue to be selfish and irresponsible, and you will continue to make bad choices. I respectfully ask everyone in this courtroom today to think about the meaning of the word “impact” and ask yourself how you would be impacted by this terrible tragedy. I hope that Zach will continue to impact your life Joshawa and all of our lives forever.