"Do you personally know of anyone killed by a drunk driver?"

  1. I was reading the drunk driving statistics for 2000 and 2001 in the newpaper today. For each year, the stats stayed about the same....more than 17, 600 people killed across the U.S. A total of 35,200 people in the last two years...killed by intoxicated drivers.

    Of course that does not include the many thousands who were injured.

    The article said that due to MADD the numbers have decreased. In the late 80's and early 90's, over 25,000 a year were killed.

    Just wondering if anyone on this BB personally experienced a drunk driving death. And also, have you ever driven intoxicated?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   cmggriff
    An family of 4. It was my pleasure to care for the driver in ICU. The babies died of smoke inhalation. Gary
  4. by   delirium
    Yes, my best friend when I was 19 was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Her name was Jessica, and she was a fabulous person. I often wonder what wonderful thing she would be doing if she were still with us on this earth.

    And no, I have never driven intoxicated. I don't think any person could, having had a best friend killed at the hands of a drunk. If I'm driving, I have a strict limit, or else I leave my car and someone else takes me home. I just won't risk hurting someone else, and destroying an entire family.

    Drunk drivers suck. This guy wasn't even penalized much.

    Also, I had a friend in college who was studying to be a physical therapist. He was struck by a drunk driver as a child in the car with his parents; both of his parents were killed instantly.
  5. by   ptnurse
    My BIL killed himself in a motorcycle accident. Contributing factor: ETOH intoxication. It is an awful thing to watch your husband bury his brother. It is an equally awful thing to watch any parent bury a child, especially when it was easily preventable.
  6. by   st4304
    I had three friends killed in alcohol-related MVAs in three separate incidents the summer after we graduated (1978). At the last funeral, her mother had the casket open so we would see what happens when you go through a windshield head first. A VERY profound effect on me. I never drive drunk.

    Years later, one of my best friends drove home from his employer's Christmas party drunk and killed a mother of three. He was 25 and getting married that next May. He was sentenced to 8 yrs in prison, but actually only served 4 yrs. His fiancee waited for him and they were quietly married a few weeks after his release. To this day, he has never drank. He has never forgotten the woman nor her family. He will never get over it. It's easy to hate and judge when you don't know the person who chose to drive drunk. Yes, that woman's family was devastated, but he really is just a very, nice young man who did something really, really stupid with very tragic results.
    Last edit by st4304 on Sep 2, '02
  7. by   boggle
    Several years back, a dear friend was driving home from a volunteer activity when struck broadside by a drunk driver. The drunk ran the red light, struck my friend's car on the passenger side. He was going so fast that his car plowed right through hers, killing her.

    She was heading home after volunteering her time to help others. He was heading who knows where after an evening of drinking. He had been convicted of drunk driving 2 times before this accident.

    My friend left a husband and two elementary school age children, and scores of people in the community whose lives she had touched.

    Oh, it makes me so sad to think of it still. What a terrible waste.
  8. by   Momma_Penguin
    I was in an accident....20 yrs ago today Sept 3, 1982. I was driving to work( I was an aide) and my car was totaled by a 17 yr old driver who had 4 other people in his car. His car flipped up and over mine and I struck a telephone pole, his car was detroyed and shredded. 3 of his friends and him lived... 1 of them died. I was 21 at the time and from my hospital bed in the er I watched this young man die. And his friends and their families gave me the dirtiest looks when my Mom helped me hobble out of that er w/ just a broken nose. He was only 15, he would have been 35 this year. I wonder if his "friends" ever think of him.....because I do every 3 rd of sept. I would never drive drunk...my hubby and I decide who gets to drink the happy juice when we go out. I try to tell my kids about it...not to do it for the various reasons... I hope it gets through to him ( he's now 15) So I hope I never get a call like the one my mom got 20 yrs ago..even tho I was ok. Laura LPN
  9. by   KC CHICK
    Yes, the oldest son of a friend of my mom. I was 16, or 17, at the time. He was the driver of a car that was destroyed when a man under the influence of alcohol (and coccaine, I think) caused his car to become airborne and land on top his car. He was killed pretty much instantly. His friend that was riding in the passenger side was in a coma for some time ....didn't come out of it until after the funeral. Very sad. It happened on December 22 or 23rd.

  10. by   Ted
    I know of at least two people who died because of that awful mixture of ETOH and driving.

    I also know four other people (all nurses) who died because some over-tired driver fell asleep at the wheel.

    ARRRGGGGHHHHH. . . . . . .

    (May 1st 1998 will forever burn in my mind like a horrible and painful nightmare. . . .)

    Ted
    www.nursingmedia.org/Mission_and_History.htm
    Last edit by Ted on Sep 3, '02
  11. by   pappyRN
    My nephew was 26 yrs old and the married father of three when a Vietnam veteran who had just been released from the VA for psych problems, ran into him headon at 80mph. David was the successful vice-president of a bank on his way to a meeting when it happened. The car in front of him moved out of the way but David was unable to. The drunk had been in a bar all day and had told the bartender and the other drinkers that he was going to kill himself but not without taking at least one person with him. He got into his car and drove the wrong way on a 2 lane divided highway. There was a blind spot in the highway and that's why David didn't see him. David's wife and 2 kids (one had died at age 10months during surgery to close an oomphalocele and the surgeon accidentally sutured through his heart while doing adhesiolysis) were supposed to ride with him but decided not to at the lst minute because the kids were tired. The youngest baby was 3 weeks old. He had been born 3 weeks premature so at least David got to see him for a short time.

    My neice is a resilient, forgiving young woman who has picked up the pieces of her life and has gone from being a chemist to a licensed clinical social worker. She is remarried with two stepsons.
    By the way, she and David met with the surgeon who caused their son's death about 3 days after Jay died and told the surgeon that they wanted him to know that they forgave him and had no intentions of suing him. They live in a very remote area and 10 months earlier this same surgeon was the only one who would operate on Jay when he was born at 31wks and was very small for gestational age and had a huge oomphalocele. In addition, this very same oomphalocele was missed on an ultrasound 2 weeks before he was born. They told him they were grateful for the 10 mos he gave them with Jay when he performed a temporary closure 2 days after he was born.

    David was a wonderful husband and father. What a waste. I have never driven drunk but I have barely ever drank alcohol as I just about get drunk just smelling it. Also, I am on a whole bunch of meds for numerous health problems and I have been advised not to drink while taking these drugs.

    Regards,
    Pappy RN
  12. by   prn nurse
    These posts are hard to read.
    I think they serve a purpose, as reminders of the life altering tragedies caused by 2-3-4 drinks.

    I worked in a neuro intensive care for several years. It was my all-time fav position. I had to give it up. I couldn't handle the number of teens who were admitted. Our unit was full of patients for organ harvesting.
    Which is another thread.

    Many parents refused. Who could blame them?? The shock of the death of your teen and then a request for organ donation. (although a decent interval did lapse before the parents were approached.)

    Many teens were riding with an intoxicated friend. They were not intoxicated.

    Many parents lamented, " I always told him/her not to drink and drive. I didn't tell him not to ride in the car with someone who was drinking and driving."
  13. by   JailRN
    When I was 13, my 19 year old neighbor (and former babysitter) was killed 12-18-65. She was on her way home from her job at the hospital, walking, when the guy who took her to the prom earlier that year, picked her up. He was drunk, flipped the sportscar and she died, he lived.

    I HATE DRUNK DRIVERS!!!!!

    We still get too many in our fine facility. But, I think the worst one is the head of MAD, who has been convicted several times for drunk driving,(after HER 13 year old was killed by a drunk) go figure.

    We have a program in our city called every 15 minutes. because a person dies every 15 minutes as a result of DUI Happens around prom time, takes a wrecked car into the HS parking lot, Picks one kid to be the 'grim reeper', the rest of the kids,(with parents permission) are plucked from class q 15 minutes, they are not 'the dead' the paramedica are called, the coroner, fire, police, it's a big deal. The kids whe 'died' are taken to a hotel for the night where they write about the dreams they had that are now 'gone' letters to their parents, friends, etc, parents are 'notified' at work that their kid has been killed, one even had a wake for the kid, casket and all. Really has an impact when they need one, when they're feeling so infallible, so 'adult' at prom.

    Really hard for the parents, even though they know about it ahead of time.
  14. by   eltrip
    August 3, 1988. My friend, Mimi, along with her fiance and his sister (Nathanel and Ruth, respectively) and Mimi's cousin were riding down I-75 to Disney World. Outside of Gainsville, a man (as I was told) was driving while intoxicated...Northbound in the Southbound lane. Mimi's cousin was the only survivor. She is not named out of respect for her privacy.

    Mimi was kind, sweet, generous, and lived her faith. She had moved to Washington, D.C. after we earned our English degrees. She was planning on going to law school. She was known in her community in D.C. for helping others.

    The deaths of Mimi, Ruth, and Nathanel were needless. I don't know what became of the driver.

    And no, I have never driven while intoxicated. If I have even one drink (which is a rarity) I will not drive.

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