The Transylvania Times -

By Kevin Fuller
Staff Writer 

Students Hear, See The Consequence Of Drunk Driving - Brevard NC

 

Chris Sandy spent eight years in prison for killing two people while drinking and driving. (Times photo by Kevin Fuller)

Local high school juniors and seniors and others witnessed firsthand the effects of driving while being impaired.

Three men who share a common bond, who were all impacted by drunk driving, were on hand recently to give students a glimpse of how driving drunk can change someone's life.

"I wake up every day to a nightmare," said Jaden Maxwell, an Illusionist whose father was killed when he was hit by a drunk driver while walking down the street.

Maxwell was speaking to students at Brevard High school

Maxwell's father died two months before Jaden was born.

Maxwell explained how the death of his father impacted his life as a child, stating he stuttered and dealt with anxiety as a child.

He urged students to make good choices.

"I'm not saying you guys are not going to make some bad decisions, but you need to learn from them," Maxwell said.

The event was sponsored by the Brevard ABC Board. Every year, the board spends resources on alcohol education and rehabilitation programs. This year, the event included speaking to Brevard and Rosman high school students, and those at the Schenck Job Corps.

The board has also teamed up with the CARE Coalition, which fights against drug abuse and underage drinking.

"It's been a great collaboration and partnership," said Mark Balding, general manager of the Brevard ABC Board.

Some students were brought to tears when Eric Krug, a standout college baseball player who was paralyzed when the driver of a vehicle he was a passenger in smashed into a tree after driving drunk, told his story. The accident rendered him without the ability to speak. He uses an iPad to type his words and software to speak it.

On Krug's 21st birthday, he had taken a ride from his best friend's girlfriend after a night of drinking.

His best friend died in the crash that left him with severe physical injuries and left him unable to ever play baseball again.

Photos of Krug, who was in a coma for about a year after the crash, were shown on a large screen in the auditorium in the high school.

Krug was accompanied by a man whose fate brought the two together in a tragic way.

Chris Sandy, who spent more than eight years in prison for killing two people while driving drunk, accompanied Krug and spoke for him, telling him his story.

Sandy also told his.

"You've got to live with the choices you make," Sandy told the students.

Sandy was 22 years old when he was driving from one party to another, while drunk, and struck a car and killed two elderly people.

Rosman High School students pose for a picture with Chris Sandy, Eric Krug and Jaden Maxwell after presenting the "Enduring Regret" program at the school. (Courtesy photo)

"I was very messed up," Sandy said. "I wish I could have never done this."

While in prison, Sandy was visited by Krug and his mother.

He thought the two were there to berate him.

Instead, they asked him what he was going to do with his life to help make up for his poor choice.

Since then, the two have become best friends.

Sandy would eventually marry Krug's sister, with Krug walking his sister down the aisle, with assistance from a walker. It was the first time he'd walked in front of his family.

The three men urged the students to make good choices, and never get behind the wheel while drunk, or jump into a vehicle with a driver who is drunk.

The men also inspired the students to move on from mistakes.

"If you've ever made a mistake, don't let it define you," Sandy said.

 
 

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