Dan was 20 years old when he lost his life to an impaired driver on Christmas Eve. His friends would often describe him as the person who could always light up a room when he walked in and uplift others with his positive attitude. He loved his friends and his days at Blake where he was captain of the football and track teams. His senior year he was named Homecoming King, which he always felt was a little over the top. Of course, as his Mom I thought it was perfect. He was then off to Arizona University to begin his studies in business. He returned home for Christmas vacation anxious to see his family and friends again. Little did we know that that would be his last trip home. On evening of December 23, he went off with friends bidding goodbye to his family with a smile and a “love you”.
On his way home that night, the car he was in encountered a impaired truck driver who had been on the road too long and with that impairment, decided to pull his truck over on the 94 bridge which was an off ramp with no shoulder. That decision cost the lives of two wonderful young men (Dan and a friend) and forever changed the lives for their families, as well as for the survivors of the crash.
We remember Dan’s smile, but also the decision the impaired driver made that night. We have now been successful in getting a new special license plate, available to all drivers, which “remembers victims of impaired drivers” with a symbol of a broken heart. It is clear that our hearts are not the only ones broken every day by the decisions of impaired drivers. Hopefully, all who see this license plate on the road will think about what the results of driving while impaired can be.