Posted at: 08/19/2013 11:30 AM
By: Heather Mills, KOB Eyewitness News 4
An Albuquerque man who lost his great grandson in a drugged-driving crash is turning his tragedy into a mission of hope for others.
He's healing his heartache and physical wounds by passing on advice and words of comfort as an advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"It still seems like yesterday. It really impacted my family," Richard Woodward said.
He's talking about May 25, 2010. It's a day he'll never forget.
"Brandon, Brandon's gone forever," he said.
Woodward's twin great grandsons were in the back seat of his car that night.
"The boys were in their car seats, buckled up," Woodward said. "I had just picked them up for a night-over with me and my wife. We were rear-ended by a guy on meth."
Brandon was killed. His twin, Ryan, survived.
"Ramon Rascon, that name is burned into my brain," Woodward said. Rascon was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the wreck. But Woodward says it could have all been avoided. He said Rascon, "had a record, had priors." Adding, "If he would have gotten that help, Brandon would have probably still been here."
Now Woodward is on a mission. He's educating and consoling other families with the help from the group MADD. Dolly Otero, a victim advocate with MADD, said, "Richard is still in pain but still willing to help other families."
"By talking to people, other victims, I'm healing myself as well as hoping I can help them heal," Woodward said.
Every year, Woodward and his family hold a Bike Run & Car Show Fundraiser for MADD, in honor of Brandon. Holding up a picture he said, "This is Ryan and this is how Brandon would look today."
Even though the scars will always be there, Woodward says he just wants to make a difference. "To know that you're helping other people, it's just a great feeling."
Woodward says he and Ryan still suffer from PTSD from the accident and he still doesn't have full range of motion in his arm. But, he said he's going to keep moving forward in the fight against impaired driving.