March 17, 2013

Aaron's Story

Hi everyone,
This post is not going to be light or happy.
It will  break your heart.
It will make you angry and it will scare you.

Last night, my son attended the premiere screening of a documentary titled
This documentary was about his friend, Aaron Pennywell.
Aaron was killed by a drunk driver in 2011.
He had just turned 20 years old.

The following videos are trailers for the Caten Hyde documentary.

The title refers to the time that the first 911 call came in from the crash scene.

I'll never forget that night.
Our neighbor's son called and asked where our son was.
A Mustang very similar to our son's was involved in a terrible wreck close to home.
Our son was out of town, but those few seconds of terror hit me hard.
 We found out the next day that it was Aaron.

I cannot begin to imagine the Pennywell's grief.
They continue the fight to stop this from happening to other families,
and so I join them in spreading Aaron's story, in the hope that doing so will save lives.

It's St. Patrick's Day and our kids are on Spring Break,
both times when there are very high numbers of intoxicated people on the roads.
Perhaps you will go out and have a few green beers today.
No judgement here.
Enjoy your celebration, but please don't get behind the wheel of a car.
Decide beforehand who will be the designated driver.

Please share with your loved ones, friends and on your blogs and/or FB if you feel called to do so.
Talk to your kids and keep talking.
They think it could never happen to them.
You might think it could never happen to you.
It could.
Aaron was right around the corner from home.

Thank you, Aaron.
Your story continues to save lives.
Your light still shines.
You aren't forgotten.
Thank you to the Pennywell family for sharing Aaron's story at schools and churches.
Aaron's car is a real life and death image of the consequences of driving under the influence.
I do not know how you find the strength to look at it,
but I do know that it has an enormous impact when it is on display in the community.
I know it has made a difference.
The work you do in your son's name is saving lives.

The entire documentary is showing at select film festivals.
It will show at WorldFest Houston International Film Festival
on April 14, 2013 at 7PM.
Check Caten's site for updates.
Caten, you did a wonderful thing for your friend and his loved ones.

Aaron and some friends.
This photo is adorable.

Another group of Aaron's friends have tattoos as a reminder
and in his memory.

I hope you'll share, my friends.


  1. God bless those parents and those friends, too.

    i know i took some terrible chances as a teen and young adult - could have certainly been in an accident due to my foolishness. i was lucky. i didn't harm myself or anyone else. i don't know how a drunk driver could ever live with themselves...

  2. (p.s. just saw your bloglovin thing on your sidebar. i switched to feedly as soon as google announced they were shutting down reader. feedly imported the google reader subscriptions easy peasy)

  3. My heart goes out to the parents and loved ones of this young man. I don't know if I would have the strength to go on after such a devastating loss. This is a good reminder for everybody not to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

  4. A lot of us did back in the day, T.
    It's hard to imagine that time now.

  5. So sad, and my heart breaks for the family. One of my very best friends was killed by a drunk driver when we were in college. It's still very painful. It was a hard way for all of us to learn the lesson not to drink and drive.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. It is such a tragedy, and I can't imagine the pain his family must feel. I admire their efforts to stop this from happening to anyone else.

  7. Oh this hit close to home for me this is an incredible story that must be shared by all. Thank you B

  8. NanaDiana has left a new comment on your post "Aaron's Story":

    It breaks my heart. My nephew was killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way on a one way ramp. My nephew saw him coming and rode along the rock ridge for about 400 yards to get out of his way but still got hit head on and killed. He was 17 years old and had just gotten notice of a full music scholarship for school. The man had been arrested 6 times for drunk driving and was still behind a wheel. His mother never recovered.
    * I added this after I accidentally erased it on my ipad. T.

  9. What a sad and painful reminder to all of us. I can never understand how drunk drivers are let go over and over again until they kill an innocent person.

  10. Heart wrenching Tina.I am so sorry for your loss and for your friends loss. It is life changing, that's for sure, to have something like this hit so close to home. I pray for those he left behind and for everyone who drinks and drives. Telling these stories is the only way to hit home with people. Pass the word, share your story, keep talking, it DOES help spread the message.
    xo Nancy

  11. What a powerful film this is and will be! Thank you for sharing and God Bless Aaron and his dear family. His parents are fighters - he has to be so proud of them for working hard to help & educate others.

  12. I'm sure this profound film will have an influence over many young lives.
    Mary Alice

  13. Could be any of us, or our loved ones at any time, so very sad. Always.


  14. A sad and tragic thing to have to share but it MUST be shared. The worst part is, you can be a law abiding citizen but it still doesn't prevent you from becoming a victim. May God continue to give Aaron's family strength to continue their much needed service.

  15. This is so sad. The first time I watched this I cried so hard that I couldn't comment. I will have my son watch this as well.

  16. This message is so incredibly important to continue to share and pass on! We just had 5 five FIVE kids killed last Sunday and the driver of the other vehicle will probably not make it either. He is in a burn unit in Lubbock. Two of the passengers were sisters. They ran a stop sign. It even made the national news..I'm sure due to spring break week. My kids are all grown now, but as I always say..."that's why they call them accidents!" very touching post!

  17. What a tragedy and loss. Thank you for sharing it. The trailers are so powerful, please thank Aaron's family for their efforts in helping to save lives.

  18. Such a sad story, but maybe that video will make some people think twice. Thanks for sharing it...sad as it is.

  19. Thanks for sharing your story. That documentary should serve as an eye opener and an inspiration to all drivers to take seriously the consequences of DUI. We can never bring back a lost life, but we can use it to make our lives better. Don’t drink and drive. It’s very simple.

    -Leora Yang


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