Someone’s Life is on the Line

As I had written last month, my mother had been killed by a drunk driver. Sadly, that was not the only time that drinking and driving has affected my family.  My husband’s brother, his only sibling, was killed by a drunk driver in 1995.  19 months later, while we were living on an Air Force Base in Turkey, my husband was asked by his boss to write an article for the base paper that would share his story of how drinking and driving had affected his life and the life of his family

It was 21 years ago today that we lost Rob….my husband lost his only sibling, his parents lost their first-born child and my boys lost their beloved uncle.

Today I share with you the words that my husband wrote for the base paper—


Someone’s Life is on the Line

Drunk Driving destroyed a part of my life.

March 11, 1995, started out as a day like any other. I had just wrapped up a few things at work and was preparing to spend a casual Saturday with my family.

Then the phone rang. My brother, my only sibling, had been killed in an automobile accident. 

As my family and I made the long trip to Washington State, we called to tell my folks where we were and consoled each other as best we could over the phone.  During these calls, they shared the details of the accident as they came from the state police.

By the time we arrived at my brother’s apartment, we had learned that he and his fiancée were returning from a friend’s house after catching a late movie at the local theater. It was a little after midnight, and a pickup truck traveling the opposite direction careened off a guard rail, crossed the center line, and hit my brother’s car almost head-on. 

My brother was killed almost instantly, and his fiancée was seriously injured.

The other driver suffered only minor cuts and bruises. He was legally intoxicated and had been arrested just a week prior for driving under the influence of alcohol.  This drunk driver had taken away all that my brother had and all that he was every going to have—a wife, children, a long life.

On March 13, 1995, I spent the morning writing my brother’s obituary. March 13 is also my birthday.

To drink and drive is to risk losing everything you have and to risk destroying the lives of those who may have just begun to live.

Is this a simple matter of being responsible for our actions? Yes, it definitely is. And what about our responsibility to others?  Do friends allow friends to drive drunk?  No, not real friends.  Responsible people do everything they can to prevent others, even strangers, from driving under the influence.  When it comes to preventing someone from drinking and driving, remember that someone’s life is on the line.

 We miss you, Rob.img991 copy


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