Why We’re Here: Melvin Briggs

On September 11, 2008, my Dad Melvin and his dear friend Tutty were traveling home on 58 Hwy in  Belton, Missouri.  Just a few miles from their  destination, a repeat drunk driver with a BAC of .204 hit  their vehicle head on.  Melvin was killed and Tutty was  severely injured.  The impaired driver was currently on  probation for her 2nd DUI and had just been released from  house arrest.  The impaired driver was charged and  convicted of 2nd degree murder and is currently serving a 15  year sentence.

My Dad was a sod and cattle farmer.  He served in the Army during the Korean  War.  My Dad loved his family, loved to fish, and was  well known for his cantankerous spirit.  He enjoyed  visiting, riding his tractor,  farming, going to the sale barn,  tending to his cattle, attending auctions and spent most of  his life outdoors.  Growing up our dinner table usually  included friends or neighbors.  My Dad had a famous  saying when inviting others to the dinner table, “you can  eat until you’re full or until it’s gone!”

I can’t begin to explain the love and connection that I had with my Dad.  My Dad and I were very close and called each other everyday, usually multiple  times!  He was my biggest fan, my hero, my sideline  supporter, and confidant.  My Dad loved me  unconditionally and I always knew he would be there for me  no matter the circumstance.

After learning my Dad had been killed by a drunk driver, I called MADD.  MADD has supported  our family since the day I made that initial phone  call.  A MADD victim advocate met with our family,  attended every court hearing, and went with us to every  prosecutor meeting.  MADD also offered a support group  and candlelight vigil that we continue to participate  in.  After receiving victim services from MADD, I  joined their efforts as a MADD volunteer and now serve as a  Chapter Leader.  I volunteer because I don’t want any  other family to experience this preventable tragedy.  I  now have a two year old daughter Lily.  When I buckle Lily in her car seat and as we travel on our roadways, I  want to know that every car we encounter will have a sober driver.  Please join MADD in creating a future of No  More Victims.

Shared by Leann Lewis, daughter of Melvin Briggs