Family continues fight against drunk driving following tragedy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family continues fight against drunk driving following tragedy

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - A family with eastern Iowa ties continues their fight against drunk driving.

We first shared the Bigler family's story with you last year. A 2012 crash involving a drunk driver killed Drake Bigler, who was just five months old. Friday Drake's grandfather shared his story with more than 1,000 teenagers.

Mark Bigler starts with asking students in the crowd to raise their hands if they have a relative under the age of five. He wants students to think of those relatives as he talks about his own. He introduces you to his grandkids and even shows you video of them.

Then tells them the happy, baby boy died in a crash caused by a drunk driver.

"It was really touching," said Anna Pienta, Freshman. "It really impacted me. It really made me think differently about my choices."

Mark Bigler spoke to all of the students at City High in Iowa City. By the end, several were in tears.

"It's hard to keep it in because it's so sad knowing that that kid never got to grow up and experience everything," said Elizabeth Ward, Sophomore. 

Mark has made multiple presentations in eastern Iowa since his five-month-old grandson, Drake, was killed in 2012.

"If one student goes home and is around a family member or a friend that has been drinking and decides to try to drive that they have the courage to remember Drake and to take the keys away," said Bigler.

Since these are high school students who legally aren't even old enough to drink, the presentation focuses on having the courage not just to stop yourself or your friends, but your siblings or your parents who've had too much.

"I remember sitting here myself over 25 years ago, listening to a speaker," said John Bacon, City High Principal.  "The impression that it made on me, moving forward, growing up into my adult years, it's something I never, ever forgot."

That's what Mark Bigler hopes for the students, that they never forget the story of drake, just as the Biglers will never stop loving him.

Mark Bigler's father, Lloyd, lives in Waverly. He's been working with state legislators to push for stronger drunk driving laws here in Iowa.

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