COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Dozen’s of people attended a Hope and Remembrance vigil Saturday afternoon for those affected by DUI accidents.
The vigil was held at the South Carolina State Museum and put on by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Five years ago, Rhonda and Marie Cockrell lost a son and nephew. Jeremy Cockrell was 27-years-old.
“I lost my life, I lost my world,” Rhonda Cockrell said. “It could be prevented.”
The Cockrell’s, drove from Greenwood county to attend Thursday’s vigil. Since their loss, they’ve become advocates for MADD.
Others who attended the vigil, like the Kiser family, were there for the first time. They lived through the pain just under three months ago.
“I remember sitting up, trying to close my eyes and begging, begging god to just let me open my eyes and it not be real,” Morgan Kiser said.
Morgan Kiser was on a boat with her parents when a drunk driver hit them in late September.
Morgan’s father, Stanley Kiser, was killed. Her mother lost a leg.
“It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Morgan Kiser said. “Before you go out and drink and drive before you do something dangerous like that, think about your life.”
Morgan Kiser, along with many other loved ones who share the same pain, is asking drivers to think about the faces of those they could impact.
At the vigil, each family was given the opportunity to hang a heart with their loved one’s name on a victim memorial tree.
It was a way for them to come together and share their stories. Most of all it was a way to ensure the names of the victims will never be forgotten.
According to MADD, the organization has helped to save more than 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent, and promote designating a non-drinking driver.
To learn more about MADD, click here.