On September 11, 2008, my Dad Melvin and his dear friend Tutty were traveling home on 58 Hwy in Belton, Missouri. Just a few miles from their destination, a repeat drunk driver with a BAC of .204 hit their vehicle head on. Melvin was killed and Tutty was severely injured. The impaired driver was currently on probation for her 2nd DUI and had just been released from house arrest. The impaired driver was charged and convicted of 2nd degree murder and is currently serving a 15 year sentence.
My Dad was a sod and cattle farmer. He served in the Army during the Korean War. My Dad loved his family, loved to fish, and was well known for his cantankerous spirit. He enjoyed visiting, riding his tractor, farming, going to the sale barn, tending to his cattle, attending auctions and spent most of his life outdoors. Growing up our dinner table usually included friends or neighbors. My Dad had a famous saying when inviting others to the dinner table, “you can eat until you’re full or until it’s gone!”
I can’t begin to explain the love and connection that I had with my Dad. My Dad and I were very close and called each other everyday, usually multiple times! He was my biggest fan, my hero, my sideline supporter, and confidant. My Dad loved me unconditionally and I always knew he would be there for me no matter the circumstance.
After learning my Dad had been killed by a drunk driver, I called MADD. MADD has supported our family since the day I made that initial phone call. A MADD victim advocate met with our family, attended every court hearing, and went with us to every prosecutor meeting. MADD also offered a support group and candlelight vigil that we continue to participate in. After receiving victim services from MADD, I joined their efforts as a MADD volunteer and now serve as a Chapter Leader. I volunteer because I don’t want any other family to experience this preventable tragedy. I now have a two year old daughter Lily. When I buckle Lily in her car seat and as we travel on our roadways, I want to know that every car we encounter will have a sober driver. Please join MADD in creating a future of No More Victims.
Shared by Leann Lewis, daughter of Melvin Briggs