KEIZER, Ore. – A Keizer mother whose son died after a tired driver crashed into his car in 2009 spent Saturday spreading the word about the tragedy that struck her family.
Deanne Roberts made it her mission to give drivers on River Road in Keizer a loud wakeup call about drowsy driving. Her son, Daymon Wachtler, would have been 22 years old on Saturday.
His family and friends held large signs, and passed out fliers and bracelets to let others know just how dangerous drowsy driving can be. They also put large boards full of photos of Daymon on display.
Daymon’s daughter Kaydon, who was born six months after his death, held a sign that said “I’m 3 and I never met my daddy.”
“When we were at the hospital, going to have to decide to pull the plug or not, his girlfriend pulled me into a conference room and told me that before you go in and say goodbye, you should know we’re pregnant,” Roberts said. I’ve never been so happy and sad in my life. I just wanted to wrap her in a bubble and protect her.”
The driver who hit Daymon’s car in Dallas, Ore. was never charged with a crime.
Tired driving may not have the same legal consequences or social stigma as driving drunk, but Roberts wants everyone to know it can be just as dangerous.
When her son was laid to rest, Roberts placed an ultrasound photo of his unborn daughter in his hand.
“Her growing up, her words. Some things she says, some things she does, reminds me completely of him,” said Roberts.