Grambling Alumni shares tragic story about drinking and driving

As another Thanksgiving passes, Vanessa Braggs thinks about how an impaired driver made the decision that took her family away more than 20 years ago.

NEW ORLEANS – As families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, Vanessa Braggs remembers the night where she lost hers.

Braggs’ husband and two sons were killed in a drunk driving crash in 1994, one she survived.
“That night, the impact of that crash was 105 (mph),” Braggs said. “My husband and I were pinned, but most of all our boys were hit by the seat."

Braggs holds a photo of her seven-year-old son who died in the crash as she describes what happened that night more than 20 years ago.

"I'll never forget the state trooper coming in and telling me Ms. Braggs, that your husband had just died,” she said.

Braggs and her children were rushed to the emergency room.  Her son Justin died shortly after arrival. Braggs was in a coma for two days.

"At that point, they roll me down to the ICU room, and they roll me up right by my baby's bedside, they sit me up in the stretcher and they put my baby in my lap, and I was able to tell my baby how much I loved him,” Braggs said. She then took her 5-year-old son Nicholas off life support. "And that's the hardest decision I ever had to make." 

A decision she never would have had to make if someone didn’t drink and drive.

More than 700 people were injured and ten people were killed in drunk driving accidents over the last 10 Thanksgiving weekends in Louisiana alone according to State Police. 

Braggs now hopes that the pain and suffering that she has experienced will influence people to make the right decision before they get behind the wheel.

"Just drive."

© 2017 WWL-TV


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