FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A local family is on a mission to spare other families from feeling the pain of losing a loved one to an impaired driver.
Claudia Trewyn Bradley was killed on Feb. 7 this year by an impaired driver on Indian River Drive, according to Fort Pierce police.
Bradley, a new mother, would have been 33-years-old Friday.
Her parents, Melanie and Tim Trewyn, led a community vigil on Claudia’s birthday aiming to inspire change in honor of their daughter.
“I didn’t want her to die in vain,” said Melanie Trewyn.
The accused drunk driver, 19-year-old Ryan Hester, is in jail on vehicular homicide and DUI charges.
“She had dreams. She was a really hard worker,” Trewyn said.
The Trewyn family adopted Claudia from Guatemala when she was a teenager. Melanie Trewyn said Claudia had a goal of becoming the first person in her biological family to go to college.
“She graduated with a culinary arts degree and went on to be a chef,” Trewyn said.
With support from local law enforcement, Fort Pierce city leaders, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Fort Pierce Lions Club, and other local groups, the Trewyns want to spread the word about ways to prevent drinking and driving.
“We have a choice tonight to come up with a strategy and use our voices to make a difference,” said St. Lucie County Major Chris Cicio.
Trewyn brought 500 coasters to give to guests to hand out, with permission, at local bars and restaurants. The coasters have a message encouraging people not to drink and drive. She hopes they could replace coasters with alcohol advertisements.
“What if they were looking at coasters that said don’t drink and drive, maybe it would wake them up a little bit to sit and enjoy the evening until it was safe,” Trewyn said.
She spoke about safe options like Uber, or securing a designated driver.
She also asked people to consider signing a petition with action items for lawmakers to consider, such as requiring IDs to be scanned for anyone ordering alcohol who appears to be younger than 30, creating a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Florida license plate, and raising the minimum age of bartenders from 18 to 21.
“We will stand by Melanie and Tim as they courageously turn their tragedy into making a difference,” said MADD South Florida Executive Director, Tracy Roloff.