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Unlikely Pair Fight Drunk Driving

By: Patty Harrison Email
By: Patty Harrison Email

They're an unlikely pair, one woman the mother of a drunk driver, the other the mother of a girl he killed. The two are working side by side to stop a tragedy like theirs from happening again.

"We represent both sides and the pain that comes from this type of decision making and the horror of when you lose people you love either in death or to the prison system," said Raine Smallridge.

Smallridge's son Eric is serving 11 years in prison for the May 2002 crash that killed 20-year-old Meagan Napier and her friend, Lisa Dickson.

"She was absolutely beautiful, inside and out. She had a heart of gold. She would never hurt anyone. The one thing I miss most about Meagan is her humor," said Renee Napier about her daughter.

Now both parents hope their words, the mangled Mazda from the crash with the keys still in the ignition, and a plea from Eric Smallridge, now known as inmate P22679, will be a reminder to students to think twice before getting behind the wheel.

"I hope you all wont make the same mistake I did, because you could just as easily end up right where I'm at, in a prison," said Eric Smallridge in a recorded video message.

They are sobering words just in time for spring break.

Renee Napier says she has forgiven Eric Smallridge for causing her daughter's death. Now she travels across the country, at no charge to schools, encouraging students to make what she calls "smart choices."


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