by Candace Barrett
(Denham Springs, LA )
My sons name was Landon Carney he was 18 years old when he was senselessly killed by a second offense drunk driver in the state of Louisiana.
Landon he was loved, he was my heart, he was cherished, and adored not only by me, “his mother” but by everyone who knew him. Landon was a good kid, he never got into any trouble. He made good grades without having to crack a book. His teachers all loved him. Landon graduated in May of 2008 “with TOPS” He went the extra mile, took the extra classes in high school and was well prepared to start college. I was so proud of Landon.
I had a great relationship with my son, and we often talked about the dangers of drinking and driving. I stressed to Landon the importance of always wearing a seat belt and this is something he did. My son was kind, he was loving and he smart. I have a memory book of awards and certificates he received from kindergarten until he graduated high school. Landon never got too old to give his family a hug and kiss. I was so proud to be his mother and he knew it, because it was something I told him all the time.
On Saturday Nov. 1, 2008 Landon went to a party with a friend, but after the party there was no room for him to ride home in his friends truck because the friend was giving a few other kids a ride home. My son got into another car with someone I'm not even sure he knew buckled his seat belt and was killed a few minutes later when the driver lost control of the car he was driving, ran off the road, flipped the car and hit a tree. Two boys were killed, a 17 year old and my 18 year old son. My son was killed instantly “so we were told” and the other boy died shortly after when he was thrown from
the car out of sunroof. The driver of the car climbed out of the sunroof and was walking around when the police arrived at the scene. I can only imagine the fear my son felt when he realized he had made a major mistake getting into this persons car. I was told later by Landon’s friends that when they tried to take the keys away from the driver he took off with these two kids in his car. Yes, Landon did get into the car, and I will never know if he knew the driver was drunk or not. All I can imagine is the fear that my son felt when he knew he was about to die at the hands of this drunk driver.
My life was changed forever very early Sunday morning, Nov. 2, 2008 when two police officers knocked at my door to tell me my son was dead. I was in total denial because I did not know the name of the driver of the car, nor the other passenger killed. I cannot explain the unimaginable pain and grief I felt and continue to feel every single day. I am not the same person I was before Landon was killed, so senselessly.
I learned a few days later that the 21 year old driver who killed my son already had one DWI/DUI. This hurts so badly. If only the driver had learned from his first DWI/DUI two mothers would not had to bury their sons.
I hurt every single day I live, I fear this happening to another person, and the sad part it will (it happens every single day) I miss my son so much and there is nothing I can do or anyone
can do to make the pain go away. All I can do is visit a cemetery where my son should not be and bring him flowers and talk to him there. His life is over and now his family and those who love him are forced to travel the path of grief that never goes away.