Mother Of Drunk Driving Victim: Drunk Drivers Get Off Easier

11:01 PM, Aug 14, 2012   |    comments
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Haw River, NC -- More than a year after a drunk driving crash that killed a teenager, and permanently paralyzed another man, the wounds are still fresh.

Last summer, Curtis Lutterloh drove drunk and plowed into Carl Wheeler and Darren Jones as they pushed a broken down van.

The crash killed 17-year-old Jones and left Wheeler paralyzed.

Wheeler, who is 40 years old, can't speak and can't care for himself.

For Wheeler's mother, Esther Wheeler, July 24, 2011 is a day she'll never forget. It was the day her life and her son's life changed forever.

"No matter how much time that they gave him, no matter what they did to him, it wouldn't change the situation that my son and I am in right today," said Esther Wheeler. "I can't understand why the drunk driver always gets off easier than the person that's not drinking."

Wheeler has her own idea of what punishment should be for Lutterloh or any other drunk driver.

"If they can't give them life of whatever in prison, they should be put to work, where they can take care of the people's children that they took away from, the parents they took away from people," Wheeler said. "They should be able to pay for what they did, contribute some to the family to help them out."

Lutterloh will get out of jail in 2016, but Esther and Carl Wheeler's life will be no different.

"If I was to see him face to face, I would look at him and tell him he was less than a man," said Wheeler. "He could of looked back and said, 'I'm sorry y'all. I didn't mean to hurt your children'."

Wheeler said she's forgiven Lutterloh, but will never forget what he did.

"There's no justice for the people that are hurting," she said.

Lutterloh had to pay the Wheeler family $1,400, not nearly enough to cover the medical bills and rehabilitation equipment Carl Wheeler will need for the rest of his life.

But Wheeler said she feels blessed that her son is still alive and she's able to take care of him.



WFMY News 2

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