CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in South Carolina will host its 5k walk tomorrow Saturday, September 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Clemson University to honor victims of drunk driving.
According to MADD, in 2021, 401 people in South Carolina were killed in drunk driving crashes, the most since 2007. Nationwide, more than 13,000 lives were lost due to drunk driving, a major increase nationally.
Dawn Williams, lost her son Charlton on Thanksgiving in 2020.
“We got a phone call that our son had been in an accident. He was a passenger of an intoxicated driver’s vehicle. Our son didn’t make it back home that night. He had really bad head injuries and internal bleeding. We ended up losing him at the hospital at about 11:30 that evening,” said Williams.
Charlton Williams was 21 years old at the time of the accident. His mother, Dawn, said even at a young age he made a huge impact on others in the community.
“My son was larger than life. He was always adventurous and inspired a lot of people to enjoy and love life. He was always in the woods hiking, fishing and hunting, hanging out with his friends,” said Williams.
Regional Director of MADD, Steven Burritt, said the money raised will go toward resources that match MADD’s mission of focusing on supporting law enforcement and pushing for stronger laws such as the ignition interlock bill passed this summer.
“People are just tired of seeing headline after headline and hearing people in their community impacted by this every impaired driving crash is preventable,” said Burritt.
According to Williams, any chance she gets to talk about her son so that his name lives on, she takes that opportunity.
“If there’s anything I can do to keep one mother and one family from living this tragedy I want to do it. Raise money for MADD, do the walks or anything I can do to help get the word out, information out and the knowledge that this is what you can do to somebody’s life. This is very very difficult,” said Williams.
8:30 – 9:30 am: Registration and activities
9:30 – 10:00 am: Opening ceremony including reading of victim names.
10:00 – 11:15 am: 5k walk around Clemson’s campus.
The walk will begin at Carillon Garden (next to Sykes Hall), 101 Calhoun Drive.