THE SURVIVOR  1

Unintentionally he has been pushed aside. He is quiet yet livid but remains sturdy and stoic. He has lost his best friend. He feels the burden that he has taken his sisters husband, his only niece her daddy. He feels disgraced. Will the shame “eat him up” or empower him?

“He” is my only brother; a beautiful, bold and loving young man that has seen the world at its worst in his life time. He has rolled with the punches and has cautiously come through each battle with only bruises. This time though is different; he is not bruised but shattered. He can not seem to “swim” through the “muck.”

He was the first and the last. The first to feel the devastating physical affects of the violent crash. The first to touch my husband and say “Mark Buddy wake up, we need you! Your wife needs you; your baby on the way needs you.” He was the first to know that his best friend was not going to wake up and the first to hear Marks last breath. The first to meet me when I arrived at the scene! To cry in horror that he is so sorry! The first to meet Marks parents that he has always incredibly adored; to cry to them and say “I wish it were me instead of Mark! “ I am so sorry!” I could hear his screams across the State Road that was now overflowing with wrecked cars, emergency vehicles and deep sorrowful emotions!
He was the first to feel the impact of this devastating tragic crash and the last to deal with the emotional havoc that will plague him for the rest of his life.

The anguish that runs through his blood daily is painful to watch. We lost two amazing and beautiful young men that night. An instant decision changed the lives of two great men in my life; the physical death of Mark and the emotional strength of my brother.

A red light runner caused this devastating event in my home; two vibrant men in my life are now gone, one physically and one absent emotionally. Since this tragic night 8 years ago all I have wanted to do is find a way to curb this negligent behavior.

Red light Running kills, maims and seriously injures. May 10, 2013 after 5 years of advocating the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act became a law. This law simply allows communities to install Red Light Safety Cameras ; A way to curb negligent behavior, to re-educate drivers on how to STOP on Red again and a law that will prevent crashes and save lives at our deadliest of intersections.

Driving really is about; COMON SENSE, COURTESY, RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER AND KEEPING OUR EYES ON THE ROAD! Due to our irrational driving behavior we have shown the we need technology to teach our motorists how to make safe, sound and life altering decisions while on our highways! I can not change what happened but I believe with my AUTHENTIC ADVOCACY COMBINED WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT, EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY (RED LIGHT SAFETY CAMERAS) together we will ENCOURAGE and EMPOWER motorists to be mindful while driving their loaded weapons! I truly believe in turn this will lead to a day where we WILL experience SAFER highways and far LESS tragedies!

The Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act is giant step for our State and one tiny step towards healing some of the deep wounds in my family; A little peace for my family to embrace and to hold and a life-saving legacy that will be shared for generations to come.

I can not bring my husband back and I can only be there to support the broken survivor; my beautiful brother. In two totally different ways a red light runner took them from our family and now we are all left to pick up the broken pieces.

If you know a survivor or meet one; thank them. Thank them for their courage and acknowledge that they have been through an unimaginable event in their lives. Encourage them to release the guilt of being a survivor and let them know that they are loved and appreciated. Reach out you may never know who you may empower to go on for one more day!

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