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Video: A mother shares her story of survival

Not all drunk or drugged driving victims die.

Many survive, only to struggle to adapt to their new life due to life-altering injuries. And their family often faces a new life, which can include providing care for their loved one, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

That’s exactly what happened to Julie Torbert. Read more of her story here.

Julie joined us on Facebook Live to share her story.


VIDEO: MADD CEO donates car to share One Good Turn program

There are a lot of ways to get rid of a used vehicle, but only one way that can help keep your loved ones safer on the roadways.

By donating an unwanted car, truck or boat to MADD, you’ll support our mission to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking. It’s a great way to make a big impact with just a little effort. Watch as MADD CEO Debbie Weir demonstrates just how easy the process is by donating her old vehicle.

Call our car donation program toll-free 1-855-GIV-MADD (855-448-6233).


Why We Walk: Erin's Story

Have you ever felt like you were meant to meet someone?

I was in Texas for Victim Impact Training for MADD. I was one of the first people to find a spot in the training room that day. There were several tables with plenty of seats available. A few people began to enter the room filling in the seats. Kathryn Dufour, who was a volunteer from the Boston office, sat next to me and introduced herself. Before you know it, I found out that she was from Aroostook County! What are the odds? We began to chat and the conversation steered towards realizing that we both had lost loved ones to this preventable crime.

In Kathryn’s words, here is Erin’s Story:

This is a photo of Erin Dufour, who died at the hands of a drunk driver March 18, 2009. At the time of her death, she was living in Tolland, Massachusetts. That day after work, she did some shopping for her new apartment, and she headed up Route 8 towards home.   

While Erin was shopping, her offender was drinking shots at a local bar a few miles away. When she left the bar, she had consumed six shots druing a two hour period. She was extremely inebriated, with a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, but she felt she could drive for some reason. A few minutes later, she was speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road. She hit Erin's car head on. Erin suffered a broken neck and multiple fractures killing her. She had no time to react or avoid the crash. Her offender had only minor injuries.

I was in Phoenix at the time out taking a walk with my grandson. I didn’t know…I didn’t have a clue that my child was in trouble while I was enjoying my evening with Liam. Looking back, I can’t understand why I didn’t instinctively know that something horrible had happened to her. By the time I was told by the State Police that she was dead, three hours had passed. Three hours during which I felt the false security that my family was safe and well.  

My husband and I have come to understand we will not get over Erin’s death. We will wake every day and feel the wrenching sadness of her absence. We will miss her laughter, her full body hugs, her perfect manicures, the way she said our names, and her kindness. We will miss her future.

We will always wonder what if…what if she had not moved out to Tolland with her girlfriend…what if she had not decided to pick up some cleaning supplies for her new apartment…what if she had chatted with the cashier five more minutes…what if someone had noticed that Erin’s offender was drunk…and what if she had been offered a ride home…what if?

Erin loved scary movies and amusement rides. She also loved Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie. She loved country music and all things Ford. She fell asleep after the beginning credits of movies she insisted we all watch, and she was the best at choosing just the right gift for our birthdays. She loved Italian food and her favorite dessert was chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.  She loved NASCAR, especially Jimmie Johnson, and two years in a row she participated in the Demolition Derby at the Northampton County Fair, winning Best in Show for her car, the “Queen Bee”.   

Erin was a competitor. She loved sports and lettered as a freshman in both Softball and Soccer. In her sophomore year, she added throwing shot-put to fill the void between those two sports seasons and lettered in that as well. She loved to watch hockey and went to every home Albany River Rats games her senior year in high school.  

Erin was faithful to her friends, always asking me for advice on how to help one or another when they encountered issues she felt needed a “mother’s touch”. So sad that I had to share memories with her friends from kindergarten, old boyfriends, high school teammates, and her work buddies at her funeral instead of at her wedding or another happy occasion.

I know I was meant to meet Kathryn that day and know I am honored to share Erin’s Story with you. We hope you will join us and Team Erin at this year’s first official Walk Like MADD in Maine. Register or donate at www.walklikemadd.org/aroostookcounty


Pokemon Go players encouraged to go to Walk Like MADD Dallas

When MADD saw how Pokemon Go motivated everyone to get outisde and walk, we thought it dovetailed nicely with our Walk Like MADD events, our signature fundraisers that take place across the nation.

So, Walk Like MADD Dallas headed out to Klyde Warren Park today to offer Pokemon trainers the opportunity to catch a few more little monsters and receive a $5 registration discount with the promo code "Pokemon."

With a lure set up at a Pokestop, we went on Facebook Live. Watch it now.

We snapped a few pictures of our hard-working fundraisers and some wild Pokemon.

   


Remembering Fallen Officers

By Ron Replogle, MADD National Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager and Retired Missouri State Highway Patrol

In May, I attended the Southwest Missouri Peace Officers’ Memorial Service in Springfield, Missouri.

The service is conducted yearly to honor and memorialize the police officers who pay the ultimate sacrifice and are killed in the line of duty during the previous year.  A roll call of the officer’s names and their agencies is conducted during the service.

Unfortunately, 128 names were read this year, one of which was Trooper James M. Bava of the Missouri State  Highway Patrol, the agency I retired from last year. Trooper Bava was only 25 years old, and he had served with the Patrol for just two short years when he died in a crash while trying to overtake a speeding motorcycle. 

Sitting in the service, I began to think of the other 30 Missouri State Troopers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice during the MSHP’s 85 year history. Four of those troopers were struck and killed by drunk drivers.

One was Corporal Michael E. Webster, an academy classmate and close friend of mine. Corporal Webster was struck and killed by a drunk driver standing roadside while conducting a traffic stop on US 40 highway in Blue Springs, Missouri on October 2, 1993.  He was struck by the drunk driver and carried on the hood of the vehicle for approximately 200 feet before the driver stopped.

Mike was transported to a hospital in Kansas City where he died the following evening. He was only 33 years old and left behind his wife, a 6 year old daughter and a 20 month old son. 

Mike was one of those guys that everyone liked and he had an infectious smile. He never met a stranger and had a great career ahead of him.  Unfortunately and sadly, that career was cut short and a mother was left alone to raise two young children because someone chose to drink and drive.

I will never forget my friend, Corporal Michael E. Webster, badge #473. Rest in peace brother!


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