A Mother’s Emotional Message To Drunk Drivers
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s peaceful outside Tina Reese’s home in Arlington, but inside the pain and heartache remains as his mother continues to mourn her 10-year-old son Tavian “TJ” Sabur.
“I come home and think he’ll be here and he’s not,” says Reese as she wipes away tears “It’s hard.”
A drunk driver killed TJ on September 1, 2011 just blocks from his house around 5:30 in the afternoon.
Prosecutors say he went drinking at a bar and later got behind the wheel of his BMW SUV and drove 60 mph through a stop sign at the intersection of Nathan Lowe Road and Petra Drive in South Arlington.
“We were coming home so he could change to go to football practice,” says Reese “We pulled up to the four way stop – I stopped and entered the intersection and that’s all I could remember.”
While Reese was rushed to JPS in Fort Worth her young son was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center.
She says she was told there was nothing they could do for him because his spinal cord had been severed and he couldn’t breathe on his own.
Reese had a broken neck and had severe abdominal injuries.
At that moment, doctors at the two hospitals worked together to make sure the mother got a chance to say goodbye.
“Cooks brought an ambulance to JPS and my surgeon rode with me to Cook so I could see TJ,” says Reese crying “It was everything. I didn’t want him to die alone.”
She says she just held him and still remembers what she said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry as a mom that I couldn’t protect him.”
Her daughter had to come home from college in Indianapolis to arrange her little brother’s funeral.
Chidyausiku pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault this week
A Tarrant County Jury sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
“I was hoping for a I guess a more severe punishment, but I’m grateful it wasn’t probation,” says Reese “He killed my son he had a choice that day and he choose to drink and drive.”
Chidyausiku faced up to 20 years in prison.
Reese says she was hoping to see remorse from Chidyausiku but she says she didn’t see that in court.
“That’s a good sentence – did he deserve more well if it was up to us the answer would be yes – we went to a jury the key is that he got pen time,” says Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Richard Alpert.
He goes on to say when it comes to DWI cases there is no leniency.
Alpert says out of 5200 DWI cases last year 3200 defendants got jail time and not probation.
Reese just hopes everyone thinks of her family before drinking and driving.
“What he did was wrong,” says Reese “I pray that when he is released from prison he won’t make the same mistake and hurt somebody else.”
She continues to live in the neighborhood where she raised her little boy.
In fact, she says she hasn’t even touched TJ’s room and has kept everything the same.
“I hear the kids outside going to school I think he should be there too,” says Reese “I see the kids playing he used to play outside all the time. It’s just hard.”