Tommy Ford, a 20-year-old from east Texas, had two loves: first and foremost his then 2-year-old daughter Bailee—his mother Corinne Peacock said “he was an amazing father;” and second, dirt stock car racing. Tommy loved to work on race cars, trucks… anything he could get his hands on.
On the night of May 29, 2011, Tommy was riding in the bed of his friend’s pick-up truck, when the driver, who had been drinking, sped down a country back road, missed the turn and crashed into a tree. Tommy suffered a fatal head injury from the truck’s tool box. There were three other passengers in the truck, including Tommy’s girlfriend, all were uninjured. The driver and another passenger fled the scene and hid for several days.
Police found several empty alcohol containers in the vehicle, and the driver later admitted to drinking and driving. He was sentenced to eight years for criminal negligent homicide and five years for failure to stop and render aid.
After Tommy was killed, Corinne called MADD. She says, “Until you’re a victim, you don’t really know what MADD does. But after Tommy was killed MADD was the first thing I could think of.”
Corinne was connected to the local MADD office in Tyler, Texas, who she calls lifesavers. “I don’t know where I would be today without the MADD team,” Corinne says. She even credits them for helping her surviving children and grandchildren deal with their grief. The MADD team provided materials and support for their family reeling with the tragic and sudden loss.
Last year Corinne and a team of Tommy’s loved ones, participated in their first Walk Like MADD. Corinne will also be attending a MADD volunteer training later this month and hopes to start sharing her story in hopes to prevent others from the heartbreak she’s had to endure because of Tommy’s tragic death.
Corinne says, “In a time of crisis when I didn’t know who to call, I called MADD. I don’t know where our family would be without MADD.”