Michael Haynes was a loving husband, an amazing father, son, brother, uncle and a friend to so many. He loved spending time with his family, playing with his children and his Xbox. Michael cared deeply for serving and protecting others, which greatly influenced his life and career choices.
Michael joined the United States Army after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th and served his country with pride, courage, honor and integrity in Iraq. After he was honorably discharged, Michael joined the Montana Highway Patrol in 2006 to make the roads safe for his family, friends and fellow Montana residents—and he was great at his job. In his three years on the Highway Patrol, Michael Haynes received high marks from his supervisors, and was an aggressive enforcer of DUI laws.
On March 23, 2009, Michael was on-duty when a drunk driver traveling in the wrong lane crashed head on into his patrol car. Michael died from his injuries four days later, leaving behind his wife, Tawny, and two young children.
Following Michael’s death, legislators and other state officials agreed that something needed to be done about the drunk driving issue in Montana and try to remedy their stance as one of the worst drunk driving states in the country.
Michael’s wife Tawny has taken over his passion to get drunk drivers off the road and has become an outspoken advocate for stricter drunk driving measures. She has worked with legislative committees to examine the effectiveness of Montana’s laws and to see how they can be improved, and was also heavily involved in the passing of the 24/7 Sobriety Program Act for repeat offenders. Since the drunk driver that killed Michael was reportedly served 13 drinks before he got in his car to drive home, Tawny is also an advocate for stiffer over-serving law and has worked on mandatory alcohol training for servers.
"I want to do the right thing," she said. "I want his death to mean something; I want some good to come out of this."