FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tony Bridley's son was killed by a drunk driver in 2015, and warns people not to get behind the wheel if they're drinking this New Year's Eve.
“It’s just a weight that you carry for the rest of your life,” he said.
This is the fifth time Bridley has had to bring in the new year without his son Tony.
“You just never get over it,” he said “You just don’t.”
The 23-year-old was riding his bike when an impaired driver killed him in 2015. Bridley reminds people of the loss of his son when they’re celebrating the new year Tuesday night.
“Think about the safety of others, and the safety of yourself. And look at how many lives are being impacted,” said Bridley.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, more than 10,000 people were killed from impaired driving in 2018. They said that’s at least one person per hour.
As the river district sets up for the New Year’s celebration downtown Fort Myers, CEO Lisa Sbuttoni said safety is their top priority.
“You’ll see police, fire and EMS throughout the footprint of the event,” she said.
Sbuttoni said they’ll have live entertainment at the Standard, and City Tavern. The ball drops at midnight followed by fireworks.
Bridley wants you to make a decision tonight that you’ll thank yourself for tomorrow.
“Wake up tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon knowing that you didn’t hurt anybody, that you didn’t kill anybody. You made it home safe,” he said.
To schedule a ride share before the surge prices hit at midnight, just open your Uber or Lyft app, press schedule and select what time you need to get picked up and where.