Mothers Against Drunk Driving 5k brings awareness to Lincoln

1 out of 3 families nationwide have lost or have had an injured loved one in a drunk driving accident.

“I’d rather get a call in the middle of the night saying I need a ride, than to get that call that I’m not coming home…” Mother of drunk driving victim- Matthew Kirchhoff, Marilyn Kirchhoff said. 

Families in Nebraska get together through the organization abbreviated as M.A.D.D. to remember their losses and spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving.

“The greatest things we see on a day like today are families that are able to come here and see that they’re not alone, that they’re all together in this fight to create a new future, Program Specialist, Sara Draper said. 

“We’re not telling people that you don’t have to drink anymore, just don’t drive drunk, and don’t get in a car with anybody that is driving drunk,” Mother of drunk driving victim- Emily Widger, Deb Widger said. 

This family lost their children on September 21st of 2014.

Matthew was an enlisted soldier that had toured in Afghanistan and was ready to propose to the Widger’s daughter, Emily, when a drunk driver, going 92 mph on a dirt road, rear ended their vehicle and took both of their lives.

“What had happened was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, cause they survived Afghanistan and he was at our house that day and he told us that he was going to marry Emily,” Kirchhoff said. 

They said the first walk they attended was just a few weeks after their kids were killed.

Now, five years later, the incident brought the families closer than they’ve ever been.

“You hate to see other people here, but you do build those friendships and you get to share those stories, your family, your kids and the love that you had for them… And we need to find out why this little one (Emily) is here today,” Widger said. 

They named their newest member of the family “Emily” after her aunt Emily that was the victim to the drunk driving incident.

“We have the solutions, but most importantly it’s that education and personal accountability to always make the choice to use a designated driver and keep yourself and others on the road safe,” Draper said. 

The family says they like to leave cards at restaurants, reminding those not to drive drunk.

It’s a little gesture that may go a long way.

Categories: Top Stories