Branch said the program is appropriately titled “Shattered Dreams.”
“Four girls lost their lives. It is shattered dreams,” he said. “Everything stops that day. For me it is like a life sentence.”
While the program’s aim is to keep teens from driving while drunk or being distracted, Branch noted in this case the girls were doing nothing wrong. It was the other driver who was driving drunk.
Keller resident Jason Dush, a speaker in the “Shattered Dreams” program who works as a firefighter/paramedic for the Arlington Fire Department and as a CareFlite medic, flashed graphic images from wreck scenes, hospital emergency rooms and morgues in which he was involved or present.
He relayed a story of being called to one fatal wreck call in 1995 to find the victim lying dead in the road was his girlfriend, with whom a couple of hours earlier he had an argument with over the phone. His last words to her were not pleasant.
“It will always be a story to share,” Dush said. “I am here to tell you we take life for granted.”
He urged the students to be accountable and stressed that alcohol involves impaired judgment and poor decisions beyond getting behind a wheel.
“Do you have what it takes?” he asked the students. “Do you have a purpose? Because this is mine.”
He urged the students to “love yourself and you have to love and cherish those people who love you.”