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Repercussions of a Drunk Driver

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I recently had quite an experience where I was actually hit by a hit-and-run drunk driver. I left the office here in Winston-Salem going down Country Club Road, a two lane road with a fair amount of traffic. It was about 6:20 in the evening. I was on the way to pick up my 10-year-old daughter from field hockey practice.

A good bit of traffic is going in each direction. As we’re going down the road, a car coming the other way loses control, comes over, hits the side and the rear of my car. To my amazement, the other vehicle took off. So here I am. I’m the victim of a hit-and-run driver. I’m standing on the side of the road. My car’s not drive-able, and thinking, “What do I do?”

I needed the police. I needed a ride. I needed something to drive. There are lots of questions that go through your mind when you’re in that situation. It’s really a difficult thing to do when you’re the one who’s involved. I find out later when the police officer calls me that this was a drunk driver, and they had caught her and taken her to jail.

I was stuck there for a while on the side of the road, a car that you couldn’t drive, and not knowing what to do, but it could have been much worse. Looking back, I feel that it was actually a lucky situation. My family wasn’t with me, and nobody in my family was hurt. Then I started thinking, “If not me, then who?”

There were runners and joggers on the road. Could they have been hit by this drunk driver? There are old people that live in the neighborhood. There are people in smaller cars. The results could have been devastating. How about if this had occurred just a split-second different in time? It would’ve been a head-on collision. The circumstances could have been much more tragic both for me and for the other driver. It’s an eye-opening situation that I hope others don’t have to go through.

But the good news is we know how to handle the claim. We know how to take care of the business aspects, and we’ll get through it. I still have some aches and pains. Actually, I’m surprised at how sore I was after the wreck, but I’m thankful that things have worked out as well as they have, and I’m going to be okay.

I got to tell you, for me it’s quite a shock being the victim of a hit-and-run drunk driver. For 21 years, I’ve been sponsoring the Safe Sober Prom Night Program. I’ve been in all the high schools in our areas and have tried to preach the message of the dangers and awareness of the dangers over and over and over again.

And yet still, when it was me, when I was the one on the side of the road with a wrecked car that wouldn’t drive, it was still a shocking and startling experience that I don’t want anybody else to have to go through. Please, please for you, your family, and for others, be safe on the road. Watch out for the other person, and please follow the laws.

And whatever you do, please don’t drink and drive.

I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston