Why We Walk: Rosanne Lehnen and Family

We want to share a difficult story because we do not want to see any other family have to lose a loved one due to the 100% preventable crime of drunk driving.

Who was Brent?

Brent was an outgoing and fun-loving 19-year-old. He was the youngest of two and our only son. He was carefree, laid-back, and truly loved the great outdoors. He enjoyed all kinds of hunting, clay shooting, fishing, four wheeling, snowmobiling, swimming at the granite quarries, and watching the wildlife in the country. Brent loved his companion Yukon. The short time he had with his best friend; he spent training to go hunting with him. Most importantly Brent loved life with his family and friends. Even on a bad day, you would never see him with a frown. He always wore a smile that lit up the room.

The Crash

In the summer of 2012, our lives came to halt and our hearts were shattered. Brent was at an out of town job for his employer. One evening, the work crew he was with decided to have a little after work kickback at a local facility in southern Minnesota. When it was time to head back to the work site, where they were spending the night, a co-worker had had a little too much to drink. The co-worker refused to give up the keys to a company vehicle and had decided that he was okay to drive. Other co-workers, tried to convince Brent not to ride with this individual. I had raised my son to, “always look out for others”.  So he decided to ride with this individual stating, “I need to make sure he gets back safe to the work site.” Brent did not realize that this individual would hold his fate in the palms of his hands. At approximately 1:32 A.M. on June 19th, 2012, we had two Stearns County Sheriffs and one Minnesota State Trooper standing on our doorstep. Upon opening that door, we saw the expressions on their faces and knew that something was wrong. They informed us, that there had been a serious car crash and our son did not make it. Our son lost his life to an irresponsible person, the very same person that our son had been trying to protect. Brent lost his life on June 18th, 2012. A day we will never forget. It was also the day before my husband and I were to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The driver received only 9 months in a county jail and 10 years’ probation.

Due to all the legal technicalities, we were not able to come into contact with MADD immediately following our son’s death. In 2014, my husband decided it was time to reach out and contacted the MADD Minnesota State Office for information about getting our family involved. We were connected with Victim Advocate, Amee Krogfus and in 2014 we attended our first walk in Como Park, Minnesota.

Why We Walk

We are only in our fourth year with MADD, but we are so overwhelmed by the love and support of everyone. Our team has grown and it shows that we support the ‘Fight Against Drunk Driving’. Brent was a fun loving and outgoing young man. He loved everyone and anything that accepted him into their lives and or situation. There is no better way to show his presence and honor his memory, than to walk at the Minnesota Walk Like MADD 2018 event!

On this 10th Anniversary of Walk Like MADD, we hope you will rally together in one of the 90 cities around the nation to help create a future of No More Victims. If you are near Twin Cities Minnesota, we encourage you to join Team Lehnen in honor of Brent. Everyone is welcome to walk with us. The Walk Like MADD event in MN will be held October 6th, 2018 at the Como Park Pavilion in Como Park, MN. We are here as one, the meaning of ‘family’ is no one should have to go through this alone. Unfortunately, due to drunk driving incidences we all have become one, a ‘Family’! https://bit.ly/2oMLQVM

Together, we can make a difference in the fight against drunk driving.

Sincerely,

Rosanne Lehnen and Family

Team “Lehnen 19”