Williams Lake resident, Lynette Welch, lost everything dear in her life, and almost her life, when she made the decision to drink and drive in 2000. Now many years sober, Lynette continues to bravely tell her story in hopes of helping prevent others from suffering similar repercussions:
“I was living with my second husband in Quesnel when the accident happened.
I had married my first husband in 1989 and we had two children together. We ended up getting divorced. I had full custody of my children with joint guardianship. At this time, I didn’t like the taste of alcohol, so was always my husband’s designated driver.
It was during my second marriage when I ended up drinking as a way to deal with things. Life was easier when I just giggled and laughed . I started drinking in the laundry room in private so I was never confronted or got into trouble. It was almost a ‘challenge’. I would drive to get alcohol and then drink and drive on my way home regularly.
The night before the car wreck , I went out drinking with my brother and began drinking when driving on the Horsefly Road. My children were visiting their dad at the time.
I crashed my truck and was told I had been driving way too fast , almost erratically. I arrived at the hospital brain dead. My brain was bleeding and swelling so Dr. Brosseuk shaved my head and removed my bone flap.
I was then in a coma for a month, and after was told I’d never walk again.”
It was a long road to recovery for Lynette. She woke up with a paralyzed arm and nerve damage in her spine. She lived with her parents for awhile as her then husband had to work. She moved back to Quesnel after getting out of her wheelchair. She continued to drink:
“I continued to drink. As I said, it was a way to deal with things. I moved to Williams Lake and had supervised visits with my children with my parents in attendance. Then I applied for a divorce and quit drinking in the same year.
The last time I drank was Sept.22, 2003. I had gotten the taxi to bring me some alcohol. I took one drink and dumped it down the drain. I cried the entire time it went down the drain. I really wanted sobriety within myself and for my children.
The children were later moved to Manitoba, and I was left with court ordered visits for six weeks per year. I didn’t understand that, but was happy to get anything because it was my decision to drink and drive. They were later moved to Alabama and I hardly got to see them.
I saw my son last in 2012 and haven’t seen my daughter in over 10 years. They are both young adults now. Five and eight-years-old when I crashed, 24 and 27 now, living in Georgia and Florida.”
Lynette gave speeches to teens for several years, trying to explain to them why not to drink and drive. She posts on social media regularly her message and her photos in order to alert others to the dangers of drinking and driving:
“The one thing I want people to realize is how much you can lose from drinking and driving. A person doesn’t think of the consequences. Believe me, from experience, it is not worth it. I miss my children and think about them daily.
I would love to continue speaking out on the reasons not to drink and drive. I loved giving speeches to teens . It was very emotional but I believe I reached people. This is why I believe I am allowed to live . To pass on the message why not to do it. A living example.”
You can reach out to Lynette via facebook at Lynette Welch.