Looking backward, moving forward

Drinking and driving will get people nowhere in life. On this last September, my life changed. Three friends from my old high school were in an accident. It all started at two in the morning on September 28, 2014. Danny Debaker, Andy Adams, and Kaleb Hougland were hit by a drunk driver. This driver was two times the legal limit. Also he had marijuana in his system. The driver was going seventy-five in a thirty-five zone.

My very close friend Samantha called me at seven in the morning. She was crying her eyes out. I didn’t know what was wrong. She was telling me that the boys had been in a horrible accident. We had no idea the conditions of the boys. One of Sam’s mom’s friends is the aunt of Kaleb Hougland. She was getting updates every twenty minutes. I immediately got in my car and drove to her house. The whole time I was driving I was thinking in my head, “This cannot be happening, not to these boys.” When I got to Sam’s, we didn’t think anything had happened and that they were just getting looked at. Sam and I started to clean her whole apartment. We didn’t want to think about what could happen to them.

At about eight in the morning, we got word on Kaleb. He was in critical condition with bruised and broken ribs and a broken leg. Shortly after that, we got word about Andy. Sam and I dropped to our knees. Jody, Sam’s mother, called us and said, “ Andy died at the scene. He didn’t even make it to the hospital.” We broke down crying, not able to move or think about anything. Then we started to worry about Danny.
I just kept thinking, “Danny has to make it; we all love him so much!

He is the best man anyone could ask for.” Danny was the sweetest guy to anyone even if he didn’t know the person. Around ten we got a phone call. Danny was brain dead. I couldn’t think, function, or comprehend what I had just heard. I was just sitting in Sam’s kitchen crying my eyes out. We all just kept hoping he would come back. We thought, “He is just brain dead right? Can’t a miracle happen, and he comes back to us?” Danny’s parents decided after talking to the doctor that he wouldn’t come back. They took him off life support, and Danny passed away. I kept thinking about how hard that would have to be for them to make that decision. It couldn’t be easy for anyone.

Anything I do now I do it for them. I want to become a State’s Attorney for them and put drunk drives away for them. I tell people this story all the time who think it’s okay to drink and drive. I show them my Danny bracelet and tell them to look at it. I ask them how they would feel if they killed someone like someone killed the boys. If people try to drink and drive, they need to have this story. Danny used to go to Black Hawk College. Both these boys could have been something amazing. All because of some stupid person, they won’t be able to now. No one should ever drink and drive.

Contributed by Alexandria Mays, Guest Writer