Drunk Driving – One Mistake – Two Tragedies

Like the ripples caused by a pebble tossed in a pond, one mistake can continue to cause ripples long after the event.

Just days before he started his junior year this fall at Wheat Ridge High School, Jimmy Stewart made the mistake of taking his dad’s car keys, getting drunk and driving when he crossed the center line on Colfax Avenue and killed Nathan Woods.

Jimmy admitted he made a terrible mistake and needed to accept his punishment. He cooperated with police and he wrote a six-page apology letter to the victim’s widow, Iman Woods. And although he had no criminal record, Denver district attorneys chose to charge him as an adult. As a result, 17 year old Jimmy was sent to the county jail to await his trial.

Apparently, while in prison, his antidepressant medication was irregular and although he showed signs of depression, he was not placed on suicide watch.

Eleven weeks after killing Nathan Wood in a drunk driving crash, Jimmy hung himself with a bed sheet in his cell. It took the city fifteen hours to notify his family that Jimmy was dead.

Because of one horrible mistake, now there are two families dealing with the tragedy of losing a loved one.