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Fresh out of jail, distracted driver who killed cyclist says 'Don't be like me'

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Chris Weber was released from jail on Friday. Monday he stood in front of a bank of cameras, describing what he calls the worst mistake of his life and telling others to learn from it.

Weber pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide last summer, admitting that he was using his cell phone when his pickup truck fatally struck Andrea Boeve, 33, who was bicycling along a Rock County road with two young daughters in a bike trailer in tow.

As Forum News Service reports, Weber says he picked up his cell phone to make a bank transaction while driving, heard a thud, then saw a bicycle in his rear view mirror. He and a passerby tried unsuccessfully to revive Boeve, whose daughters, aged 4 and 1, were injured.

Weber says he realized immediately that he was at fault in the accident and tells KELO he never considered telling investigators otherwise.

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Weber spent six months in the Nobles County jail; MPR News reports his sentence requires him to serve another three months next year, followed by three more in 2017, in addition to 300 hours of community service.

Now his story is featured in a video the Minnesota State Patrol released Monday to warn others of the dangers of distracted driving.

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The video also features Matt Boeve talking about the loss of his wife.

WCCO reports the couple had broken ground on their "dream home" about 10 days before the accident. Weber tells the station he thinks of the Boeve family every day.

Weber is a 26-year-old electrician who serves in the South Dakota National Guard, the Star Tribune reports. He tells the newspaper his release from jail does not require him to speak publicly about his case – saying he's doing it because distracted driving is an epidemic and he wants to help change it.

In April the State Patrol issued more than 900 tickets in a six-day crackdown on distracted driving.

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