The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office presented a program on underage drinking at local high schools last week. The program was given at Commerce High School, Jackson County Comprehensive High School, East Jackson Comprehensive High School and Commerce High School.
“We are all here because we want you to be safe,” said Jackson County Sheriff, Janis Mangum. “We want you to have fun, but we want you to be safe. One choice changes it forever.”
Shane Godfrey of X-Treme Videos produced a video documenting the effects of drunk driving on Bryan Hensley, Eric Krug and Chris Sandy.
Chris Sandy was convicted on two counts of vehicular homicide by DUI following a vehicle crash that killed two people. Sandy had a .14 blood alcohol content level.
“I was 22 years old and I made a choice that I will regret for the rest of my life in April of 2000,” said Chris Sandy. “That night started out as a party. I had four big drinks, back-to-back-to-back.”
Sandy got a call from friends who were having a party down the road. He and his friends decided to meet up with them.
“We never made it to that other party,” said Sandy.
Sandy describes that he knew the road well; he had driven down it countless times. But on April 11, 2000, Sandy caused a wreck that killed two people.
“Those words that I heard in the background that night, I promise you I will never forget them for the rest of my life. As I’m lying there, worrying about going to jail, I hear someone in the background yell, “There’s a fatality on the scene,” said Sandy. “And as soon as I hear those words, I realize that I just killed someone.”
Sandy spent 3,117 days in prison. His parole ends in April when he will begin 17 years of probation.
“I’m very grateful for my family, they’re wonderful. I ruined their lives. I hurt everybody,” said Sandy. “God knows what the victim’s families must go through to this day.”
Sandy’s brother-in-law Eric Krug was also involved in a DUI. Krug was a passenger in a wreck that resulted in his traumatic brain injury.
Krug was a baseball player at Oglethorpe University. On his twenty-first birthday, he and his friends went out to celebrate. The group had opted to rent a taxi to drive the group home.
As Krug was entering the taxi, one of his friends persuaded him to get into a friend’s car instead. The driver had been drinking. The vehicle crashed going 45 miles per hour. One of his friends cracked his head and died ten hours later.
Krug dislocated his arm and had various bones crushed. He was in a coma for over a year and suffered traumatic brain injury. Because of his injuries, Krug can no longer walk and must use an iPad to speak.
“I wish I could talk without this iPad, but I cannot. I also need help from my friends and family to communicate some of my thoughts,” said Krug. “Simple things like walking and talking are struggles every day of my life. Suffering a traumatic brain injury has ruined all of my dreams like playing professional baseball or completing my college degree. This is my never-ending nightmare.”
Sandy and Krug share their stories in to spread awareness about the effects of drunk driving. For more information, visit www.enduringregret.org.
“Just so you know, those choices that I made when I was 22 started when I was sitting where you are,” Sandy told the students. “So please, think about everything you do in your life. Really think about it. And remember, it just takes one bad choice.”