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Suspected DWI impacts family that lost husband to drunken driver

BEAUMONT-by Ashley Gaston/KFDM News - A woman forever changed when a drunk driver killed her husband is once again feeling the impact of a person suspected of drinking and driving. 

Kathy Bell-Schexnaider is a spokeswoman for mothers against drunk driving.  The death of her husband in 1991 prompted her to join the group. She is now a senior
advocate for MADD.

Her son is 28 year old Thomas Bell. He was traveling on Highway 73 south in chambers county at about nine in the evening last Friday when his car was t-boned by a suspected drunk driver.

The man ran into a ditch and drove away.  A Good Samaritan followed the man until a trooper could find him and arrest him.

Bell received cuts and bruises. He visited a doctor today because his shoulder hurts.

Thomas Bell was on his way home from a visit to moody gardens in Galveston Friday night where he was looking at Christmas lights.

He was struck by a suspected drunk driver on Highway 73 in Chambers County.

His mother, Kathy Bell-Schnexnaider speaks out against the dangers of drinking and driving.

Her office in Beaumont is filled with pictures of victims who died at the hands of drunk drivers.

She covers a 12 county region and has at least 500 clients a year.

The MADD advocate uses these pictures to speak at panels to deter drinking and driving.

Her son’s accident has made her angry.

She’ll use that emotion to push for tougher sentences against people who drink and drive.

She’s hurt and upset that she almost lost her son 21 years after she buried her husband.

Kathy Bell-Schexnaider said, "With the snap of a finger my life was devastated.
It brings back those memories.  I had a hard day that day and I kicked into auto drive Saturday. 
I'll probably fall apart really bad when my sons leave for work.  I've worked with so many parents who have lost their children and I thought it wouldn't happen to me
again.  But, that doesn't it won't happen tonight or tomorrow.  It's just so frustrating that it's preventable."

During the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday Troopers investigated 21 collisions, 3 of them that were alcohol related.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says the choice begins with you.

MADD says you can be proactive by tying a red ribbon on your car for safety.  The red signifies sober driving, or you can pick up a magnet at the MADD office in Downtown Beaumont.

Suspected DWI impacts family that lost husband to drunken driver

Wednesday, January 30 2013, 02:28 PM CST
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