Smithson Valley students get dose of reality during 'Shattered Dreams' presentation

Charles Herring lost his daughter in accident in 2007


SAN ANTONIO – Shattered Dreams is a program that brings the realities of drinking and driving and reckless driving to high school students. 

Schools across the area have participated in the visual and emotional display that calls on students to act out deadly car accidents. 

For Smithson Valley High School students, a Shattered Dreams program that ended Friday, was a reality that hit too close to home.

"As we get closer, we see the vehicle crushed," said an emotional Charles Herring. "Flipped over on its left side in the middle of the street; the speed limit there is 30 mph!"

Charles Herring, a guest speaker at the event, lost his daughter two days shy of graduation at Smithson Valley, in 2007.  Megan Herring was a passenger in a car that flipped near Canyon Lake during a high-speed crash.

"I gave Megan away. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and one on the tip of her nose," recalled Herring, after having to say goodbye to his daughter.

Herring's emotional plea to students at Smithson Valley High School was to slow down, avoid drinking and driving, and to "have each others backs" to prevent a crash like the one that killed his daughter.

"I think the whole speeding thing really hit us hard because we don't really think about speeding being a huge deal," said junior Peyton Poorman, after the presentation.

Andy Fox, captain of the Bulverde and Spring Branch EMS, put the Shattered Dreams program together and said it is a necessity for students in the area.

"It's absolutely a problem," said Fox. "We work accidents involving teenagers all the time."

Also speaking at today's program was Smithson Valley teacher Sally Britton. She too had ties to a tragedy in 2007. Her cousin, Erica Smith, died after being struck by a drunk driver in San Antonio, just days before Christmas.

"Two beers and two shots … that's what the woman who killed my cousin said she had to drink," said an impassioned Britton.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.

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