13-Year-Old Girl Confronts Man Who Killed Her Mother

Heartbreaking 22

Thanksgiving is a time when family comes together and celebrates, but for 13-year-old Lauren Nevil, it's a time of excruciating sadness as she is reminded of the Thanksgiving she lost her mother to a drunk driver. Last November Lauren, her mom Katy, and the rest of the family were driving from their home in Tennessee to spend the holiday with family in Texas. John David Coe was driving drunk. He would, tragically, meet up with the Nevil family on a dark stretch of highway and destroy their lives forever. Last week Lauren bravely confronted him in the courtroom, where Coe was sentenced to 40 years in jail.

Not only was Coe driving drunk, he was driving with his own daughters, 9 and 12 years old, in his car. After the crash, Lauren spent 161 days in the hospital suffering from serious injuries including brain trauma. But the worst part was that her mother Katy was dead.

Lauren's victim impact statement said, in part:

You have ruined my life forever, do you realize that? Now I will have to live my life without a mom. Maybe he [God] one day will forgive you, and you can go to heaven, where you forced my mom to be today. May God show you the right path to lead you on.

Despite all of the publicity and the harsh laws surrounding drunk driving, fatalities due to drunk driving increased slightly last year. Washington D.C. has the least number of fatalities, Texas the most. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve is one of the most dangerous times to be on the roads. At Christmas, 43 percent of all vehicle fatalities are drunk driving related.

Lauren will never have a mom because one man chose to get behind the wheel while drunk. And Lauren is certainly not alone. Thousands of children lose their moms and moms lose their children over the holidays all because of a very preventable crime.

Please do not drive drunk over the holidays -- or any time. Don't let anyone you know drive drunk. Think of Lauren and her mom, Katy.

Do you have a plan for the holidays to keep safe?

Image via Kazuakih/ Flickr



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Jessy76 Jessy76

Alcohol kills people in many ways every single day. Yet it's completely legal to buy and consume. Doesn't make much sense to me. IMO DUI should carry a mandatory 1 year jail sentence period. Doesn't matter if it's a 1st offense or if you are the wealthiest most famous person on the planet you drive drunk you should do a year in the slammer. If you hurt someone, even yourself your punishment should be worse. I have zero tolerance for stupid people who drive drunk there is no excuse what so ever for doing it.

nonmember avatar MrsSmith12

This is tragic! I have absolutely no tolerance for driving while under the influence of any kind! That man is setting where he deserves to be! I lost my grandma, aunt, little 9 year old cousin, and my grandmas boyfriend in august due to a guy driving while under the influence of lortab 5-7 of them and he crossed the center line. He thinks he didn't do a thing wrong and we are currently awaiting the trail. 4 count of manslaugter (1st degree)

Eric Walker

if you're stupid enough to believe in god and thinks he has some plan for you, then why is it so hard to accept that your mom dying just might have been part of his plan?

Kendra Maria C

this should tell people that they need to stop driving well drinking cuz what happens if this was your child would you want them you suffer cuz if that was me i think i would stop and think about my children before my actions

Angie Lambert Dooley

Eric Walker lets see what your comment will be when it's your mom or one of your loved ones that are killed by someone that is breaking the law. Prayers to the family.

Michelle Marshall

I have zero sympathy for drunk drivers.  My brother was hit head on by one back in '91 and died THREE TIMES on the way to the hospital.  I thank God that my brother survived.  He has a limp now, a plastic trachea (his was crushed in the accident) and some memory problems.  And the drunk who hit my brother?  He got what was coming.  He died at the scene.  They took a vial of blood to do a blood alcohol analysis, and his was three times the legal limit (in NY at the time of the accident, legal limit was still .1 and was changed to .08).  Due to witness testimony, the man had been to several field days where alcohol was consumed.  Since then the laws were changed, but not soon enough to keep the accident from occuring.  My heart goes out to this girl and her loved ones.  And Eric Walker?  Remember one thing.  Karma.  I pray that one day Karma does not come around on you for your remarks on this blog.

Total... TotallyTweedles

I have been following this sweet family on facebook since shortly after the accident. The driver of the other vehicle will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. While it is horrible for his children to essentially lose their father he brought it on himself by choosing to drive under the influence. Katy did nothing to deserve to lose her life. Lauren did nothing to earn the loss of four toes and permanent physical and brain damage. I sincerely hope Mr Coe finds some way to make the rest of his life matter. Here's another article with more details for anyone interested:


Carol Mangham

need more police stops during the holidays, people drive drunk and do not care who they hurt or kill.  they feel invincible.  how many families are hurting due to drunks killing the innocent?

Stacie VanDruff

I stay home for the holidays with my children for this very reason. Too many people just are not cautious and get behind the wheel after drinking, and I do not want myself or my kids to be among the statistics of drunk drivers.

Doris Potter Dandrea

I feel for this family. I lost my first husband to a drunk driver in 1994, I was left to raise our 3 young children on my own.The person that caused the wreck walked away without a scratch. He got 19 years for what he caused that night, he only spent 11 of those years behind bars & got out in December of 2005 and not even six months later he was caught drinking & driving again, he is currently back in prison. The laws need to be stritcher nation wide. The pain of losing my husband has eased over the years, but the pain will never go away. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved oned to a drunk driver.

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