SAN ANGELO, Texas — Erin Crawford-Bowers grew up without her parents after they tragically lost their lives when their vehicle was struck by an impaired driver. Now Bowers is participating in TxDOT’s campaign to help prevent other families from going through what hers did.
According to TXDOT, Texas saw 48,641 traffic crashes in 2021 occur during the holiday season (Dec. 1, 2021, through Jan. 1, 2022) which resulted in 433 fatalities and 1,695 serious injuries. Of those deaths, 23 percent were DUI-alcohol related, with 98 people killed and 236 people seriously injured in drunk driving crashes.
To spread awareness and encourage safe driving TXDOT launched its statewide “Drive Sober. No Regrets” campaign today, to remind drivers why finding a sober ride is so important and to never get behind the wheel after drinking, either over the holidays or other times of the year.
Bowers is at the center of this year’s campaign sharing her story of loss and survival after both her parents lost their lives in a drunk driving-related crash in the Houston area when she was just 6 months old. Prior to the accident, Bowers was strapped in her car seat in the front seat facing the back, her father was driving and her mother and cousin were sitting in the backseat. Moments before the collision, Bowers’s mother threw herself in front of the car seat shielding her daughter from the impact which sent her into the windshield causing her to break every bone in her body. Her mother died shortly after the impact and Bower’s dad died on impact. The cousin survived the crash despite breaking almost every bone in her body. She remained in the hospital for over a year. Bowers was life-flighted from the wreckage with a severe concussion and a broken arm and leg.
“With my parents taken from me at such a young age, all life events, every happy memory, every happy holiday or event that happens there’s always a bit of sadness to it, it’s never truly just a blissful day because you always remember the people who weren’t able to be there that day, ” said Bowers.
Bowers is now a married mother of two and honors her late parents through the naming of her oldest son, Crawford, which was Bower’s maiden name.
Bowers asks that drivers not take the risk of getting behind the wheel impaired,” So if you are considering getting behind the wheel after a drink or two and think that you’re just fine and it’s no big deal, think of me,” said Bowers, “You never know the harm you could cause to a family by making that one small decision.”