Roy McConnell and his wife, Amy and three sons, Nathan, Roy III, and youngest son, Kelly; their wives and Kelly’s girlfriend looked forward to a weekend on Redington Beach. He posted on Facebook, “best idea we’ve had in years…a rented house on the beach for the family.” The family was celebrating a first vacation for young Roy and his wife, Sandie and their new baby; Nathan and his wife’s anniversary and Kelly’s 19th birthday.
The father and sons had talked for weeks about seeing the movie, “Predators.” It would be “guy’s night out.” I am “blessed in so many ways,” Roy, 51, had commented, “a great wife, three sons and I love the adventure of faith, family, work and play.” Their time at the beach was an opportunity to enjoy the blessings Roy held so dear. But, tragically, the unthinkable happened.
On their way back from the late night showing of the movie, as the they proceeded through the green light at the intersection of 22nd Avenue North and MLK Street, without any warning, a vehicle (police later estimated to be going 92 mph) sped through the red light, slamming into their car. Their vehicle was forced across the intersection and impacted a sign pole on the rear passenger door. The combined impacts killed all four McConnell men, instantly. They never knew what hit them. The driver who killed them, a 20 year old male, was later determined to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.154.
In an instant, the voluntary decision of this man to drive under the influence (DUI) changed the lives of three entire families forever, leaving three women widows and two young children, fatherless.
As a result of her devastating loss, Amy’s cousin, Ginger Brengle, is an actively involved member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), serving on victim impact panels and speaking to teen drivers in area high schools. This video is her compelling story of this family’s tragic loss. It was produced by Jim Dodson Law and www.whitneymedia.tv and will soon be seen nationally in MADD educational programs.
I am Ginger Brengle's aunt and Amy Voelker's mother. It was my son-in-law and grandsons who were killed. I want to thank Jim Dodson for posting this video about MADD on your website. May similar tragedies be avoided because of your support!