Posts Tagged ‘accident’

The Loss of an Only Child

This is a story of the loss of an only son…

I’m leading the Great Hang-Up Campaign at WUSA9… a mission to stop distracted driving. Every week I’ll tell a different story on lives affected by distracted driving or issues on the topic. Here is my story on a Takoma Park mother who lost her only son while he was behind the wheel. Watch, listen… learn and take the Great Hang-Up pledge today.  

The Loss of an Only Child

We Walked Like MADD… and why I'm still mad

WATCH: Coverage of the Walk Like MADD 5K on WUSA9 TV

You can see from my shirt below that I walked in the Loudon County Walk Like Madd event for a young boy I sadly never had a chance to meet. First off I want to say hats off to the walkers for raising $7,000 for drunk driving awareness and education in our area.

Now to why events particularly like this touch me.  I met Sullivan’s family in 2005 under grim circumstances when I was a reporter in SC. 5 year old Sullivan Spradley of Kershaw County had returned from church with his family on Father’s Day. He was on a bike ride with his dad in broad daylight when the horrible happened. A drunk driver, a man I later learned was a repeat DUI offender hit Sullivan. Sullivan died an hour after the accident.

It was one of those stories you didn’t want to cover. But as important as doing stories to honor the brave little boy’s memory were the series of stories that followed that shed light on loopholes in SC law that allowed repeat offenders, people like the man who killed Sullivan back on the road.

Through this time I became friends with the family. Visiting his kind parents Tim and Tonya at their home. I also covered their days in court… reporting on the conviction of Donald Brown a man I watched receive his sentence for 13 years in jail.  

Angie Reports: Man Sentenced to 13 Years for hit and run that killed 5 year-old

It’s been 5 years and I still get Christmas cards from the Spradley’s. As a journalist there are stories and people you will never forget. The Spradley’s are one of those stories. I don’t live there anymore, but I feel I can reach out from anywhere on this serious issue… even if it’s just by doing 12.5 laps around a high school track.

To the Spradley’s and all families who have lost loved ones to this senseless crime. It’s okay to stay mad. From getting more education in our schools to getting ignition interlock systems passed in more states the fight is far from over. Keep walking, keep talking and stay hopeful for that day that drunk driving  doesn’t take anymore innocent lives.

Howard Katz (left) lost his son Adam in 2009 to a drunk driver

Angie and Kathy Corby aka Mommy Bootcamp

Jen Davis, Marian Lozano and Susan Cleveland

My Dad, the hero and dummy

Chin & Ren Married 37 Years

As a traffic anchor I know the dangers of sunglare which is why I often remind viewers to “bring the shades” when my camera shots are turning up hot. Today my dad Ren was with the infamous Chin headed to a medical appt when he witnessed a woman who couldn’t see the light go through a busy Fairfax Co. intersection at 40-50 mph. He knew it was gonna be bad … and CRASH…. a truck, another car and the woman’s vehicle collided sending her into what appeared to be a never ending spin out.Ren quickly pulled aside after watching smoke engulf the car. He noticed the woman could not get out. He couldn’t get her driver’s door open and pulled SO hard he ripped the handle off the door (insert gun show here). He finally managed to get open the back door where he pulled the lady through carefully as she talked him through where she was feeling pain. Dad said Fairfax Co was there in a jiffy…as was EMS and they kept the woman laid out in the back of his Honda Odyssey til they could take her to the hospital.

I say dad’s a hero.Back Then
Ask Chin and she says “He’s a dummy”
(she declined to go on camera for another ‘ask chin’)

Now it’s not that Chin isn’t compassionate… but as a wife who dearly loves her husband she was in fear. She followed with “What if the car blew up?” I can understand that. Ren responded “I wasn’t even thinking about it.”

In news, I’ve covered a share of tragedies, near tragedies and tales of inspiration. The truth is you NEVER know how you’re gonna react until you’re put in a real game-time-decision role. We’ve seen the horrific stories of the man hit by a car and no one stopping to help. Or the teen who’s being repeatedly raped in front a crowd… and no one speaks out.

I just wanted to share a story that reminds me how lucky we are to have real heroes in our everyday lives. I urge you to take time today to thank or send a note to those you know would do anything for you… or a perfect stranger.

Related: How Chin Stays in Shape, Hawaii Chair
Video: Why didn’t anyone help this hit & run victim

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