Verona, MS (WCBI) — A northeast Mississippi mother is helping sound a warning as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. The mother experienced a parent’s worst nightmare almost four years ago and is now talking to others about an evening that changed her life forever.
Teenagers, law enforcement officers and others listened intently as Casey Wood talked about her son, Brendon. She is an advocate with the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
For Casey, she describes her 18-year-old son as her ‘best friend.’
“We grew up together, like we just grew up together. We had the same interests, same taste in music, same style. He was just my best friend. We talked about everything. He could come to me about anything. ”
Although they had a uniquely close relationship, Wood was also the mother who let Brendon and his friends know they could call her for anything, no matter the situation.
“We talked openly about drinking and driving. He was my best friend but I still was the mom to let him know, you know if you are ever in a situation, I’ve told them since before they got their license, if you are ever in a situation where there’s drinking going on, or you drink I want you to be able to call me. I told all of his friends, if you don’t feel like you can call your parents, call me, I’ll come pick you up no questions asked.”
Brendon graduated on May 20th 2010 from North Pontotoc High School. He was a musician and was excited for his future plans of going on tour.
Two days later, on May 22nd, Wood’s mother received a phone call from a friend of her son’s saying they had been in a car wreck while on the way home.
“I was like ‘okay calm down, is everyone okay?’ and he said yes but we need you to come up here. So my husband and I called somebody to come stay with our 7-year-old and we drive three minutes down the road which seemed to take an hour to me. We get there and everyone was not okay.”
Brendon spent a month in the hospital, he passed away June 22.
“That morning, I was with a lively, funny, made everyone he was around laugh, or feel like something special, knew what I was thinking, could finish my sentences. That night I had a child that could not do anything, could not open his eyes.”
Now, Casey Wood is encouraging drivers of all ages to consider the possible consequences before they drink and get behind the wheel.
” If you’re drinking and driving, yeah, you’re buzzed, feeling good, all is great, you have that liquid confidence, but you could take a life, regardless of how you feel in your mind, how you think, oh, I’m a better driver, or I can do this, I’ve only had a few, no, it’s not that way, you don’t know, it’s not up to you.”
In Verona I’m Alyssa Martin.
The driver of the car Brendon was in was charged with DUI death.