Local News

Parents of Megan Dail Speak Out Against Drunk Drivers

Posted March 31, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Sunday's accident in which a 6-year-old child was struck by an alleged drunk driver has once again sparked an outcry from those whose lives have been scarred by such accidents. With state lawmakers now working on a bill aimed at making current DWI laws tougher, a family which was recently touched by such a tragedy is speaking out.

The Dails lost 4-year-old Megan just a month ago when, police say, their minivan was struck by a habitual drunk driver. Now, they say, they want justice for Megan and for everyone on the road.

Austin Dail, the victim's 2-year-old brother, doesn't understand why, but he knows his sister is gone forever. Sherry Dail says it's been very hard on everyone.

The Dails face their loss by getting signatures on a petition that asks for tougher DWI laws. They estimate they have collected more than 2,000 names so far. Dail says she was stunned when she found out that the driver who hit them, Timothy Blackwell, was a convicted drunk driver with no license.

The tougher laws being considered in the North Carolina legislature would impound vehicles driven by habitual drunk drivers and would send them to jail for a minimum of one year. Karyn Brown of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) says it's not perfect, but it is a start.

Dail says her daughter's memory will remain alive as the family continues to fight for tougher laws.

The Dails will speak Tuesday to a senate judiciary committee which is considering the bill. They also plan to be in court for Blackwell's first court appearance next Monday.