Local moms urge motorists to drive safe and sober this holiday season

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YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- The holidays are often a time of celebration and two local moms are reminding drivers to do so safely and sober.

“When the County Coroner knocks on your door, it’s never okay,” said Rhonda Grove.

Grove remembers the day she received that life-changing knock on her door.

"The first thing that popped in my head was, 'is Trent okay?'” explained Grove.

It was New Years Day almost 10 years ago when her son Trent rang in the New Year with his friends, but never made it home that morning.

“He was killed by his designated driver," said Grove. "That actually was the last text message in his phone, was 'who is the DD going to be?' So he was killed by a broken promise.”

Trent served in the United States Air Force and had recently returned home from deployment.

“He loved serving his country,” said Grove.

He was one of 2 men killed in the crash and the driver walked away unharmed.

“It’s a choice, it's not a mistake, it's a decision that someone made to get behind the wheel while be impaired and it's an irresponsible decision too,” explained Grove.

Rhonda said nearly 10 years later, the pain doesn't get easier but she shares her story alongside Missy Sweitzer in hopes others will think twice before drinking and driving.

“You don’t expect it to happen to you and when you’re faced with that reality, it changes you,” said Sweitzer.

Sweitzer lost her son along I-83 when he was sideswipped by an underage drunk driver early Thanksgiving morning.

“That’s the most frustrating part of it is knowing that it didn’t have to happen,” said Sweitzer.

Pennsylvania State Police said over the Thanksgiving holiday this year, they made more than 600 DUI arrests and investigated one alcohol-related fatal crash, which Troopers said it one too many.

“There’s really no excuse," said Trooper Brent Miller. "It falls on you as a responsible person when you get behind the wheel. Make a smart choice, call a taxi, call an Uber or have someone come and pick you up so you can get home safe.”

That's a choice both Rhonda and Missy wish others had made so their sons were with them today.

"It's 100% preventable, it does not have to happen and you are the one that is in control of that," said Sweitzer.

State Police remind motorists to download the Safer Ride App. The app allows drivers to easily call a taxi or a friend to safely get you home after drinking.

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