Bill Lanahan, a speaker for the MN Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), addressed students and staff members of the Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center campus on October 24, 2012 — 27 years after he received a life-changing phone call that his daughter Christi was hit by a drunk driver.
The presentation was part of Minnesota School of Business’s Red Ribbon Week, which is held October 23-31, to help educate students and staff members about Drug and Alcohol Awareness.
Receiving a phone call that your life has changed forever because of a choice that a stranger made is something that we all hope to never encounter.L anahan spoke of Christi as an inquisitive, competitive, and extremely smart young woman. She was a National Merit Scholar and a member of the Tri Delta Sorority at the University of Texas at Austin.
Christi and her friends were walking home from an evening out, and she as well as another friend were both hit by a drunk driver. Christi’s friend was okay after being hit, but Christi was nowhere to be found. When the car finally decided to stop before entered Highway 35, there Christi appeared. She had been dragged on the underside of the car for the entire two and a half blocks. Christi was pronounced dead the following day.
At the time of the accident, the drinking age was 19 in the state of Texas. The driver of the car was 20 years old, and after a lot of press and the court appearances, he was charged with ten years in prison. This was obviously not enough in the eyes of Christi’s family. Two years and eight months later, the driver was let out on good behavior. Lanahan explained that he never heard an apology from the driver of the car, and at this point, he never wants to see him again.
Lanahan had a very captivated audience during the speech with questions and comments coming from MSB students and staff. He explained several statistics in regard to drunk driving in the state of Minnesota and showed the improvements that the state is making year by year. There is promise that the numbers will continually decline.
The message throughout was about choice. You have the choice to drive while intoxicated or not to drive. Lanahan continually pointed out that when you make a choice, it will inevitably affect more people than just yourself.
To learn more about the organization started in Christi’s honor, please visit The Christi Center.