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North Port woman shares how MADD supported her after husband's death by drunk driver

"Walk Like MADD" 5K happening virtually this weekend
North Port woman shares how MADD supported her after husband's death by drunk driver
Posted at 5:52 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 08:47:07-04

Fox 4 has been highlighting how the non-profit Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, helps the victims of impaired driving: people surviving with serious injuries, mothers who've lost children, and in this story, a woman who lost her husband of almost 37 years.

MADD's biggest fundraiser, the "Walk Like MADD" 5K & 10K, is happening virtually on September 26th and 27th, and the organization said it's especially crucial that people get involved.

Millicent Brant's husband, Skip, was killed by a drunk driver in March of 2017. She said she'll never forget the moment she got a phone call from her brother.

"{He said} there had been a terrible accident, and that my husband had had been severely injured," Brant said.

Her brother told her that her husband Skip was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle to Daytona for Bike Week.

"And he said 'It's really bad. There's blood everywhere.' And I knew right then that it was probably going to be fatal," she recalled.

Twenty minutes into her drive to a hospital in Orlando, Brant got a second phone call confirming what she already knew in her heart.

"That he passed in the ambulance. We had to make the next two hours of this trip knowing that my husband wasn't going to be alive when we got to the hospital," she said.

Investigators said the driver who hit Skip, 83-year-old James Osburn, had a blood-alcohol level almost twice the legal limit.

"They actually found an open bottle of alcohol in the car," she said. "He had prior stops, and they had let him plead it down to reckless driving. So this gentleman should have been off the road, before he ever killed my husband."

Brant said shortly after the crash, her family got her in touch with Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Southwest Florida.

"Over the course of the next two years, as the criminal case unwound, I could not, and my family could not have made it through without the support that MADD gave us," she said.

She said MADD supported her family through every court date, answering any questions, advocating for her family, and connecting them to grief counseling.

"And they're still there. On the anniversary of my husband's accident, which it had been three years and all the legal stuff has been over, I got a card from my MADD advocate," Brant said through tears.

The driver was sentenced 10 years and four months in prison. Brant said she was glad to see justice for Skip, the love of her life for 37 years, who she called a practical jokester.

"He was larger than life. He was very outgoing. My brother said he'd never met a person who was so happy and his whole life," she said.

Through Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Brant now spends her time speaking at Victim Impact Panels to DUI offenders, spreading her message.

"Think of the devastation that you could cause in somebody else's life. And if you kill someone, would you ever yourself recover from that guilt that you have, of knowing that you changed so many people's lives for a selfish decision that you made?" she said. "If I can just make one of those people stop and think before they turn on the ignition about my story, and what it's done to our family, then his passing is not in vain."

Brant is encouraging everyone in Southwest Florida to join them in raising money for their Walk Like MADD virtual 5K & 10K event.

To register or donate, click here.