LUGOFF, SC (WIS) - Countless lives were forever changed on a two-lane Lugoff road early one morning in January 2013.
"Momma heard the pager go off from the fire department," Josh Peake recalls. "And the dispatch came over and said '1050 vehicle vs. motorcycle.' There aren't many cars, many motorcycles on the road. Momma immediately knew it was Daddy."
Josh is Dewitt Peake's son. Dewitt was hit and killed by a drunk driver while driving to work early one morning at FN Manufacturing off Clemson Road. Peake was also a volunteer firefighter and a volunteer EMT.
"He was a coach, he was a Dad, he was a Papa. He was a deacon in the church," Peake said.
It was a tragedy unlike anything the Peake family could've ever imagined. It's hard to comprehend even to this day. Stories like Dewitt's are the ones that the South Carolina Highway Patrol keep in the back of their minds as they ramp up for a heavy weekend of patrols.
"We're gonna be looking for people who make that poor decision to speed, not wear their seatbelt and drink and drive," said Lance Corporal David Jones with SCDPS.
This weekend, troopers will line the roadways in an effort to push their Sober or Slammer campaign. The campaign is aimed at intensifying the effort to send a strong message about drunk driving and to reduce DUI-related traffic deaths.
Peake says it's less about you and more about the lives you could affect with one poor decision. He's living that reality in the five years since his father was killed.
"You can ruin so many families by making one bad decision. He had grandkids that thought he hung the moon," Peake said. "We can never get back. We can never have that relationship. We can never have those hugs. We can never hear him whistle. Because of a decision that you made."
Highway Patrol reminds you to never drink and drive. And if you're on the roadways and see a drunk driver, call *47.