Mary C. – Lost her son in a drunk driving accident
Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare
“If you asked me, I would have never thought I ever would bury one of my children.”
November 4, 2014 was the worst day of Mary C.’s life. She finished work at 8pm and like she did most nights, she texted her son Michael. He didn’t text back right away which was unusual but Mary did worry too much. When the hospital called a few minutes later, she was concerned but not overly worried. The voice on the phone asked “Do you have a son Michael Kevin Cotton?” and Mary answered, “Is my son alright?”. The voice didn’t give any information but urged her and her husband to make their way to the hospital right away.
When they arrived at the hospital, they were approached by a doctor who informed Mary & her husband that they had admitted their son because he had been in a car accident. The news wasn’t good. The doctor told them that they had tried to work on him but “unfortunately, we weren’t successful.”
Mary stared at the doctor in disbelief. She could not believe it was true. She was convinced that they had the wrong person, that someone had taken his ID and it was a case of mistaken identity. It wasn’t until she was lead into the room to see her firstborn son, did she accept that he was gone.
“It took them 20 minutes, 20 minutes to cut your son out of that car.”
Mary C. re-calling the words of a doctor on the night of her son’s death.
Michael, Mary’s son, was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver. The driver was his best friend. On that November evening, Michael got into the passenger seat of his best friend’s car thinking that he would be able to keep his inebriated friend safe. Michael wanted to be there to remind his friend to drive slowly but as they drove down 17M in Goshen, New York, the driver lost control of the vehicle. The car flipped and the passenger side hit a wall which cracked the windshield. The driver tried to pull his friend from the car but the glass was embedded in his chest. It took rescue workers 20 minutes to cut Michael from the vehicle. They rushed him, still breathing, to the hospital but they were unable to save him. Michael died of blunt force trauma to the chest at 30 years of age.
“For the next, I would say, 2 months I was just walking in a cloud.”
Mary had never suffered depression or anxiety until that night. She had to leave her job as a supervisor because it was just too much for her. She says “For the next, I would say, 2 months, I was just walking in a cloud.” She wanted to scream because it seemed to her that life just continued. She felt that nobody cared that she had lost her child. She worried about her grandchildren, Michael’s two young sons and what life would be like for them growing up without a father. That is one of the main reasons she turned to Sobo & Sobo for help. Mary felt that she really needed to do something for Michael’s boys.
About a month later, Mary sat with Greg Sobo and shared her story. She found him to be very supportive and really felt that he understood her pain. After that first meeting, she thought to herself “I’m in the right place.”
“I said, I forgive you, not to say I’m not angry, but I forgive you.”
Mary knew the driver. He was her son’s best friend. When he came to Mary to ask for her forgiveness, she did. She said, “I forgive you, not to say I’m not angry, but I forgive you.” She told him to get involved with a church, to get himself saved and then to tell his story. She urged him to tell his story because this is something that he is going to have to live with for the rest of his life. That he killed his best friend.
“NEVER DRINK & DRIVE. Just never do it. THINK. Think before you get behind the wheel.” Mary C.
The statistics are staggering. A driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 or greater is seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident. It is never worth the risk. Mary’s message is simple, yet important: “Never Drink & Drive. Just never do it. Think. Think before you get behind the wheel.”