It was nearly midnight when John Seaman got a call from his son, and it was the strangest thing because he just remembered his son sounding more like an adult than he ever had. He obviously had something very difficult to say, and it took a while before he could deliver the message.
“Dad, Kellie’s dead,” he finally said. Seaman’s daughter Kellie was five months pregnant at the time—“it was a double-punch for me,” he said.
Kellie, 20, was hit by a drunk driver, Mathew Moore, on May 23, 2012. He was going nearly 100 mph in a pickup truck and ran a red light, slamming into her car and left her in a debilitated state. Her friend, Jeremy Price, had been in the driver’s seat and was instantly killed. Her 7-month-old son was in the backseat, and suffered a traumatic brain injury but survived.
Seaman flew in on the next flight out, and found his daughter in the hospital, unlike he had ever seen her before. In an instant, a careless driver had taken the beautiful and vibrant girl Seaman had known as his daughter away from him.
Left in a vegetative state, her medical bills were over $6 million and climbing. She was put on life support in a last-ditch attempt to save the baby, but the impact of the crash had been so severe the baby suffered a traumatic brain injury as well and was lost.
“A lot of people think that drinking and driving will never affect them—won’t happen to them, nothing bad can ever happen to them—and they’re absolutely right,” said Seaman.
“It always happens to somebody else.”
“There was no end to the tears. I could not stop crying—for days and weeks I could not stop,” he said.
“You might go to jail for a short time … My daughter got a life sentence. This will never end,” Seaman said.
“Please don’t drink and drive.”
Seaman created the short video after the crash, with a fervent plea that this never be repeated. The video went viral, and since he posted it in 2012, people are still writing in, telling Seaman how his story has helped them rewrite theirs.
In an update, Seaman shared that Kellie had stayed alive for 391 days with him by her side, before she finally passed away from her injuries. The medical bills were taken care of by the state after her passing. The man who killed her was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In his grief, Seaman was motivated to “start being the difference I want to see in our society.”
He is working on a building a crisis center for those suffering the loss of a loved one, with a dual purpose of helping addicts and convicts turn their lives around to become contributors to society.
“We can change the hearts and minds of people around us if we are willing to get out of our comfort zones and reach out to those that society rejects or ignores altogether,” he wrote.
“This is our reality because somebody made a bad choice. Please make the right choice,” he said.