Tragedy drives families to speak out against drunk driving

7:11 PM, Jun 5, 2012   |    comments
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The aftermath of a 2010 DUI crash by Demetrius Jordan that took the life of an innocent father and three sons



St. Petersburg, Florida - A father and three grown sons wiped out in a second. In the time it took for a car speeding at 80 miles an hour to run a red light, a family was changed forever.

The McConnell family that lost so much on that August night in 2010 will tell you it was the decision of Demetrius Jordan to drive drunk that propelled this deadly crash.

On Tuesday morning, Jordan pleaded guilty in a Pinellas courtroom to four counts of DUI manslaughter. Through their pain, the McConnell family has spoken out against impaired driving and a Tampa mother also knows that calling.

Sharon Hall lost her son Louis in a 2008 crash. He was a passenger in a car with a drunk driver. Also on Tuesday, Hall told students at East Lake High School about the pain and the hurt that bad decisions bring a family.

"Louis will not be here for his sister's wedding next year. I'll never get another Mother's Day card," she says from the school's theater stage.

As a representative for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Hall has told her story countless times, yet it still takes an emotional toll. When you're talking to kids, she knows not everyone listens. Time after time, Halls words of warning continue to flow, in hopes of reaching just one.

"This could be their mother standing here, telling this story," she says. "It's a plea-please don't make these decisions, please be safe."

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