Amy Senser was sentenced to 41 months of prison time yesterday in the hit-and-run death of 38-year old Anousone Phanthavong, after which she apologized to his family and assured them that had she never saw their son that night on the side of the interstate.
Senser, who is the wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser, did not immediately come forward after Phanthavong's body was found, which lent a suspicious light to an already shaky story. Her stepdaughter Brittani convinced her to go to police with the admission that she was driving the vehicle that night on the stretch of road where the man lost his life after authorities began questioning the family.
"When the news broke and there wasn't a driver identified [there was] speculation that it could have been any of us. I told them, because I knew … that she had to take responsibilities for what she'd done," Brittani said.
Senser said she heard her SUV hit something that night but thought it was a pothole, or perhaps a road sign. She never stopped to investigate, something which may have caused the jury to doubt her. She still maintains that she didn't see the man as he refueled his stalled car on the side of the road.
"I'm sorry...I hope you can believe me. I never saw your son that night, and if I had, I would have stopped to help him," Senser, 45, told Phanthavong's family.
The family says they are just happy to have an apology and that Senser will have time to reflect on the damage she's caused while serving her time.
"We felt a relief to [hear her] actually speak for herself and just hear her apology," said the victim's niece, Cindy Phanthavong.