Car accidents cause terrible disruptions in the lives of millions of families every year. From a few broken bones and soreness to fatal car and truck accidents, few are ever the same after a crash. What is most tragic is that with rare exceptions, almost all of the accidents are unnecessary.

And no type of accident is more unnecessary than drunk driving. No one ever has to drive drunk. It is a voluntary decision. The drunk driver could take a cab or have a sober friend drive, but instead they get behind the wheel and cause a fatal motor vehicle accident.

Such was the case of a Columbia man who was driving drunk and crashed into a truck, which flipped, and two of the three occupants were thrown from that vehicle. One woman died and a man remains in a coma since the December 2012 accident.

The underage drunken driver had requested at the sentencing that he receive 120 days substance abuse treatment program and serve the remaining seven years of the sentence for first-degree involuntary manslaughter on probation, but the judge refused.

She said he did not have a drinking problem, but choose to drink and drive. The victims’ families testified as to their pain and loss of “togetherness.” The sister of the man in the coma noted that their lives were all “unimaginably and irrevocably changed.”

The families have sued the comedy club where the man was served alcohol.

Alcohol and cars form a deadly combination. Imagine, for the price of a cab fare, this man could have avoided seven years in jail, one man would not be in a coma and a young woman would still be alive.

Source: Columbia Daily Tribune, “Gordon gets seven years in prison for crash that killed woman, left man in coma,” Alan Burdziak, June 3, 2014