My son was the drunk driver New Year's Eve
by Debra DeFrain
(League City, Texas)
Our son Loren DeFrain, 28 of League City, Texas died on January 4, 2009 from injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident on New Year's Eve. He was the drunk driver. Loren left a party on New Year's Eve after heavy drinking with friends, he was so intoxicated that he somehow got onto Interstate 45 traveling Northbound in Southbound traffic. He had a head on collision. He was not wearing his seatbelt, so he was ejected through the windshield of his vehicle. The other driver thank God, was not injured. My husband and I were skiing in Taos, New Mexico when we received the phone call from our youngest daughter at 4 in the morning. Our son was in critical condition in Hermann Hospital where he had been life flighted. We got back home as quickly as we could, going to the hospital immediately upon our return to Houston. I was not prepared for what I saw. Our son was on life support with massive head and brain injury. He had multiple fractures to his face and legs and we were told he was not going to survive. We sat at the hospital with him for 3 days until he was finally pronounced brain dead on January 4th and we as his family are left picking up the pieces of our lives. Our children were all educated by us at a young age regarding drinking and driving. As parents we entered into a contract with our kids as teenagers that stated we would come to get them no matter when or where with no questions asked if they had been drinking or if they were with another driver that had been drinking. Over the years we have gotten numerous calls from our kids, and we always fulfilled our side of the contract. Our daughter was home this past New Year's Eve, and she let her brother know to give her a call if he was drinking and needed a ride home. Obviously he never called. The only one we have to be angry with is our son, and right now the only thing we are grateful for is that he did not take anyone with him. And while he was not the innocent in this accident, our grief is no less agonizing. We are still in the "what if" phase of our grief, trying to find a way to "fix" this, but no matter what we come up with as a solution, the end result is the same. The parent's of his friend that were hosting the party knew how intoxicated our son was and allowed him to get in his vehicle and drive. We do not absolve our son of responsibility, he made choices that night that cost him his life and plunged us into this horrific nightmare. But we as collective individuals and as a society do have a responsibility and an obligation to stop drunk drivers!! It is our duty when hosting a party or event to monitor the alcohol consumption of our guests and to ensure that no body is getting into a vehicle impaired. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to prevent the deaths of the innocent as well as the not so innocent by any means necessary, even if that means calling the police to prevent someone from driving while intoxicated. We would much rather have been visiting our son in jail than burying him. And whether it is the drunk driver that dies or more horribly the innocent victims that they hit, it is we, the parents, family and friends who carry the pain for the rest of our lives.