Project Roadblock: Family still suffering years after being hit by drunk driver
Former school teacher, young son share story to encourage others to make better choices
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Eve Bradford knows that when you head out to party for New Year's Eve -- or any other occasion -- you're not planning to almost kill someone when you drive home buzzed or drunk.
But choices have consequences.
Bradford and her family have felt the lingering affects of one driver’s choice for nearly six years.
“I see kids going out to party or to play, they’re just wanting to have a good time,” Bradford said. “They’re wanting to have fun, but sometimes they forget that on the flip side of that having fun are choices and decisions and those choices and decisions affect everybody out driving on the streets.”
In March 2014, Bradford was driving on Blanding Boulevard with her pregnant sister, nephew and two sons when they were hit by a drunk driver going over 70 mph.
All five were injured, and Bradford said she didn’t know if she would survive.
“I went from normal life to living a life that focuses and revolves around disabilities,” Bradford said. “Where I was before the wreck, I had a career that I loved. I taught sixth grade out at Oakleaf, had a career, had a brick house, mortgage -- the normal life. And now, I lost the house, I lost the career, I lost the capacity to do the things that I love."
Bradford suffered a head injury and shattered her pelvis.
“I tell people that I walk with four crutches. They’re my souvenirs,” Bradford said.
Her son, Dyson Ferris, who was 4 years old at the time of the crash, was briefly paralyzed on his right side and spent nearly six months in a wheelchair. He still goes to physical therapy.
“It’s been hard,” Dyson said. “I get to see other kids get to do stuff after school, and I have to go to therapy.”
As their recovery continues nearly six years after the crash, Bradford and her son are urging drivers and passengers to think twice before making the decision to drink and drive.
And Mothers Against Drunk Driving points out that it's also important for passengers to not get in a car with someone who has been drinking.
The driver who hit Bradford's family is serving 10 years in prison.
Bradford and Dyson shared their story with News4Jax as part of Project Roadblock, a nationwide drunk driving prevention campaign that kicked off Thursday and continues through New Year’s Eve. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving deaths increase on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Project Roadblock urges drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car either drunk or buzzed.
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