On Dangerous Travel Day, DUI Victim Pleads: Think Before You Drink
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – According to AAA, one million more travelers than last year are expected to take to the highways, skies, and seas for Thanksgiving.
The day before Thanksgiving, also known as Black Wednesday, is considered the deadliest, in terms of DUI accidents, something David Warner knows all too well.
“Grief, heartache, loss, it’s all there,” says Warner, who battles those emotions every day since a DUI driver slammed into his world back in 2004. Warner, his wife, and 6-year-old grandson Branson Warner-Cummins were on the way to Frankfort on US 127 when Joseph Paul Shreve’s vehicle hit their car.
Warner came out of the crash without significant injury. His wife, however, was badly hurt, and their grandson was killed.
“I knew it was bad,” says Warner. “Death has its own look.” In 2009, Shreve was sentenced to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter, according to the Anderson County Circuit Clerk.
Recent drunk driving statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving show a 12-percent increase in DUI related deaths from last year. In Kentucky this year there have been 192 drunk driving fatalities, along with more than 4,500 alcohol-related crashes, 17,000 DUI arrests, and over 24,000 DUI convictions.
On the year Branson would have graduated high school, his grandfather continues to honor his memory with a moving billboard wrapped around his own vehicle, carrying a simple message for those getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.
“Think before you drink,” pleads Warner. “It’s one of those things that everybody loses, nobody wins.”