Drunk Driver Leaves Cleveland Father With Devastating Injuries

Tuesday, December 16th 2014, 7:22 pm
By: News On 6

Not everyone hit by a drunk driver dies. Some survive, but deal with devastating injuries that change their lives and the lives of their families forever.

Mike Brown left his Cleveland home in June of 2007 around 6 a.m. to go play in a golf tournament when a 19-year-old drunk driver in a truck slammed head on into Brown's van. When Mike's wife Charlene got to the scene they said her husband would most likely die before they got him to the hospital.

Crushed and twisted metal, beer cans lying everywhere, glass everywhere, a bloody mess left behind: that was the crash that nearly ended Mike Brown's life. He almost died not once but twice - first at the scene, then during one of his many surgeries to repair his body.

His knees were broken beyond recognition, bones sticking out of his wrist and massive internal injuries.

"During the surgery, he had so many injuries, he actually died on the table," said Charlene Brown, wife of a drunk driving victim.

"I remember getting the call to gather all the family and friends and I had just done that two days prior."

Mike survived, but his career ended and being able to play with his 6-year-old twin daughters, over.

"So there was no practicing basketball, no practicing soccer. Just getting on the floor was a struggle," Charlene said.

She says the driver had a prior case and, even with the injuries that left her husband permanently disabled, the driver didn't go to prison and didn't learn his lesson.

"Five-year deferred sentence," Charlene Brown said. "Thirty days in the county jail and while he was on probation in our case, he received another DUI."

Still, she speaks to groups about the dangers of drunk driving, but feels she's fighting a losing battle.

"They're not getting it. It doesn't just affect the drunk driver or who they hit, it affects their family, so many people, it's not just one person it affects," she said.

Police in Oklahoma will be doing massive DUI crackdowns during Christmas and New Year's. Their message, if you drive hammered, you'll get nailed. They say it's much easier to call a cab or Tipsy Tow or have a designated driver or just don't get behind the wheel.