DUI Driver Speaks to Students on Dangers of Drinking and Driving

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

A Tallahassee man is still doing time for killing two women in a drunk driving crash back in 2002. But, he's allowed out of prison to speak with teenagers all over Florida about the mistake he hopes no one else will make.

Jefferson County High School students left Wednesday's school program with an inspirational message.

Jefferson County High School Junior Alphonson Footman says,
"I learned that one night of having fun is not worth killing someone and spending the rest of your life in prison for killing someone's loved ones."

In May 2002, Eric Smallridge was driving drunk when he crashed into another car, killing 20-year old Meagan Napier and her best friend Lisa Dickson.

Smallridge says, "My part of it is to show them that the consequences of it can land them in prison for several years and all of their hopes and dreams could all be wiped away by one bad decision."

And though Smallridge is still doing prison time, he's permitted out to join one of the girl's mothers to speak to students all over Florida about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Renee Napier whose daughter was killed in the DUI accident says, "I just needed to get this story out there and try to keep other families from living the nightmare that we've lived through and just try to save lives."

Napier says it's her duty to travel around the state to spread the message about the dangers of drinking and driving - hoping that something like this never happens to anyone else.

Napier goes on to say nothing will bring back the two lives that Smallridge took that night, but they hope young students will think twice before they get behind the wheel after drinking.

Kahdesjah Morton, Jefferson County High School Senior says, "It was inspirational to hear his story from a person who witnessed the situation first-hand in killing two people and being able to testify about it, it was inspirational."

For more information about having Renee Napier or Eric Smallridge speak at your school or college, log on to http://themeagannapierfoundation.com/index.php

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  • by Expand your Program, Cure Alcholism Location: Tally on Mar 13, 2011 at 08:02 AM
    A fews years ago I saw on tv when Eric Smallridge was first arrested after he consumed too much alchol, drove, killed the two young ladies when he crashed into them in the morning about 1:00 am. A twin sister lost her twin, I am a twin too. Great anger, hurt, devestation was caused of his bad choice. My heart broke for all the families, I cried for 2 days. My son looks like Eric, but is older, is Godby Grad. Eric was very remorseful, he wished it was him who died and not the girls. He could never get that night, that moment back. He got 20 yrs. Alcholism is a disease that we as a society must fight. We need to understand why anyone needs to get wasted; is is depression, peer pressure, or to make you look cool? As a parent, I am glad to see this program where families of tradgy come together and educate everyone. Ms. Napier had to face God within her soul to forgive Eric, acknowledge that acholism is a disease, and be assured her daughter wished her to help Eric save lives.GodBlessYa'll.
  • by love life Location: tallahassee on Mar 10, 2011 at 05:54 AM
    Mrs. Napier came to Godby when I was in high school and spoke about the loss of her daughter. Honestly I cried my eyes out. And her words, spoken with confidence yet tinged with the emotions she was trying her hardest to contain. We all make mistakes, that is a part of being human. But the beauty in making mistakes, even those with tragic results, is that we as well as others can learn from them. Ms. Napier's daughter lost her life and nothing can lessen the pain that her loved ones feel everyday. But I think that she is looking down on her mother today smiling because she knows her death was not in vain. It is still so sad that she had to be the martyr for us as did another man years before any of us were ever thought of. Lets not take her sacrifice for granted. Save a life and DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
  • by djm Location: tally on Mar 9, 2011 at 07:09 PM
    What a great thing to do after a horrible tragedy. Spread the word....
  • by TallyTrashTalks2 Location: Tallahassee on Mar 9, 2011 at 05:24 PM
    I saw a video clip of Ms. Napier & Eric Smallridge a few months ago speaking at a high school. It definitely made more of an impact on those students to hear a story from them personally, than anything they could ever read about.
  • by Lip Cheese on Mar 9, 2011 at 03:32 PM
    Now that's a good twist to tragedy.
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