On May 22, 2003, our lives were forever changed when a careless 23-year-old decided to drive home from a bar drunk. He crashed into my then-17-year-old stepsister.
I remember the phone call like I just hung up the phone. My dad calling me to tell me Caitlin had been in a car crash, Diane (Caitlin’s mom) getting on the phone, crying, telling me how hurt she was. The drive to the hospital. I remember seeing her broken body. I remember hearing the words “no brain activity.” The numbness I felt and still feel. She died two days later of her injuries.
A parent should not have to plan a funeral instead of a graduation party. However that’s what my parents had to do. A husband should not have to bury his wife because she dies of a broken heart, but that’s what my dad had to do in 2006. When Caitlin died, a piece of all of us died that day.
Growing up I knew I wasn’t invincible. Having a firefighter/paramedic for a dad shows you the reality of what can happen. But never did I think something like this would happen to my family. Never did I think I would become an advocate against drunk driving — yet here I am: Caitlin’s voice. The man that killed Caitlin was a repeat offender (his second offense was reduced to reckless driving).
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