Thanksgiving DUI’s down, though still deadly

Wayne Willett was on path to sobriety when killed by suspected drunk driver Sunday, family says

SAN ANTONIO – With the ongoing pandemic and a curfew on this year’s Thanksgiving holiday San Antonio police reported arresting less than half the number of drivers for DUI compared to last year.

In 2019, police arrested 105 suspected intoxicated drivers between the day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after it, and this year that number dropped to 46.

While it is a big improvement, the family of a man killed by a suspected drunk driver on Sunday knows even one person driving intoxicated is too many.

“His life was just starting,” said Guylaine Willett, Wayne Willett’s mother. “Wayne would have been 21-years-old on the 15th of this month.”

Police say around 5 p.m. Sunday 50-year-old Sergio Vasquez was driving a van that fatally struck Willett as he was crossing the street on El Charro and Nacogdoches.

“The irony is, my son was living at a clean and sober house, and he gets killed by a drunk driver,” Guylaine Willett said.

She said he had been living at the rehab facility for a month and was headed to a job interview at the time of the crash.

“He was just getting his life together, he was trying to get a job so he could buy Christmas presents for the first time out of his own money,” Guylaine Willett said.

The avoidable death, is a recurring nightmare for the family.

“My mother was also killed by a drunk driver in 1990,” Guylaine Willett said.

Now, in honor of the brother and son ripped away, his family has a message.

“There’s no reason as to why you should get behind the wheel if you can’t even really walk properly,” said Tristan Handforth, Willett’s brother.

Vasquez was booked on intoxication manslaughter and held on $75,000 bond.

Willett’s family said they feel stuck, with no idea when his funeral will be, because they say they don’t have the money.

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