Many Voices. Unified Mission.
Sheila Lockwood became involved with MADD in June of 2018 when her oldest son, Austin, was senselessly killed by an impaired driver. On that date, her family’s lives were shattered. Every hope, every dream, every plan she and her family had, was forever changed.
Sheila has four children, all very close in age. She lost her oldest daughter, Taylor to SIDS. Austin was the third child and first son. Austin is 17 months younger than his sister, Morgan, and only 15 months older than his younger brother, Landon. The children were very close, and the boys were often mistaken for twins. The three grew up as best friends. The boys worked together, they played together, and they even went to college together. Austin celebrated completing college a month before the crash and his 23rd birthday 15 days before the crash. Austin was working, living in a new home next to a river and loving his life. Austin was loved by everyone. He treated everyone with kindness. Selfless only begins to describe Austin and ultimately that selfless behavior is what took Austin from us. The drunk driver had a cabin that flooded and no one else had time to help clean it, only Austin. His kindness was paid back by taking his life. Austin was the passenger in the vehicle. The driver had a BAC of 0.117 almost 3 hours after the crash, he was going 70 mph in a 40-mph zone. Austin was taken upon impact; he was gone when the police arrived.
Since the crash, Sheila has actively worked to make a change and raise awareness around this preventable crime. She has been to the capital in Wisconsin many times, speaking at public hearings and meetings with Representatives and Senators. She was invited to Wisconsin Governor Evers office twice to have him sign two new drunk driving bills into law. Sheila worked with Illinois Representative Tom Weber as he created HB4835 to get the term accident removed from Illinois statuses. These are now referred to as a crash. Sheila and Austin’s loved ones have participated as Team Austin in the Walk like MADD fundraiser as the top fundraiser five years in a row. She serves on the IL/WI/IA MADD Board of Directors, has been a part of the LER planning committee for four years and has traveled with MADD to speak at a high school before prom and graduation. The company Sheila works for has a global Giving Campaign and highlighted Sheila and MADD in 2023. That same company donated $2000 to Flight for Life in honor of Austin Lockwood. Sheila has had several billboards created with Austin and MADD on them to raise awareness about drinking and driving. Austin’s former boss, Greg Wojtkowski, started making lanterns in honor of Austin and all victims. All profits from these lanterns are donated to MADD. They are called Austin’s Lanterns. In 2020 and 2021, Sheila became part of a War Room with MADD, this team was able to get a bipartisan provision into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that could put an end to impaired driving. On November 15, 2021, the HALT Act was signed into law. The HALT Act requires national safety standards for passive, advanced impaired driving prevention systems on all new vehicles.
No matter how busy Sheila is, she cannot bring Austin home. She is committed to be the change so that no other family ever must experience this preventable loss. Sheila is honored and proud to be a MADD National Ambassador. It is her dream to one day have No More Victims.