Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

Mom Tries To Prevent 'Dirtbag Drivers' Like Her Son, Who Killed Five Driving Drunk

ryan.ford 9 Oct 2019

Australia's Melissa McGuinness's life turned upside down on December 8, 2012. That night, her 18-year-old son was out drinking and smoking marijuana, and he made a fateful choice that ripped many, many lives apart. He got behind the wheel.

Seven years later, Melissa still brings her pain, her guilt, and her grief with her wherever she goes.

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

But she puts a purpose to it. She has become the founder of You Choose - Youth Road Safety, a campaign that visits high schools around Australia.

Load Comments

These visits allow Melissa to share her experience with young people.

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

By giving them a first person perspective, she hopes to convince young drivers not to drive under the influence.

Load Comments

That night in December, Jordan got his Nissan up to 140 kph (about 87 mph) on the highway.

Melissa Hayes-McGuinness

Another car containing five people had broken down on the side of the road, and they were all sitting in it when Jordan happened along.

Load Comments

The other car burst into flames after Jordan smashed into it.

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

The only survivor was the other driver. Jordan killed a 16-year-old, a 17-year-old, and a 20- and 23-year-old couple who were parents to a 15-month-old girl, in addition to himself.

Load Comments

When she's talking to high school kids now, she emphasizes that her son was what she calls a "dirtbag driver."

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

It's her term for teenagers who think "they're ten-foot tall and bullet proof."

Load Comments

Word choice is very important to Melissa.

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

"There are accidents and there are choices," Melissa says. "Jordan didn't have an accident that night. That's what happened to his victims. Jordan made a choice."

Load Comments

The guilt over being a "perpetrator's mother" still weighs on Melissa all these years later.

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

"As much as there are hundreds of reasons to be proud of Jordan... he died in shame," she says. "This is how he’s going to be remembered. There’s no getting around that.

Load Comments

"Think of all the good stuff that you’ve done. Think of all the effort you’ve put into your life."

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

"Think of all the effort people who have loved you put into your life. And imagine all of that being wiped out by one stupid choice. Because that’s the brutal reality of what happens."

Load Comments

And when she gets to the end of her presentation, there are few dry eyes in the audience.

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

They've seen the wreckage from Jordan's crash, the other car an unrecognizable heap of blackened metal, they've seen the funeral,.

Load Comments

And they've heard Melissa's heart-wrenching story.

Facebook | You Choose - Youth Road Safety

"The thing with... Jordan is he’s relatable because he’s just like any other other kid there that’s sitting in that auditorium... and I’m also relatable as the mum," she says.

"[Through Jordan they’re shown] this great kid that made this one stupid choice that could be any of those kids. Any of them."

h/t: Yahoo News, 9Now

Load Comments
Next Article