*UPDATE 2: A GoFundMe page for EC Busby has been included at the bottom of this article.
*UPDATE: The suspect, 32-year-old Charles Hawn, was released on bond Tuesday at 3:36 P.M. according to the Ector County Detention Center.
MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – An accused drunk driver has changed the lives of 14-year-old Porter Goodwin and his cousin, 21-year-old EC Busby.
We spoke with the parents of Porter Goodwin, who is now going through rehabilitation in Midland.
Porter’s family said they want people to know, this accident only happened because of someone’s decision to get behind the wheel after drinking.
They’re pushing for others to not make that same decision in a new social media campaign, #GetARide.
Porter is getting around-the-clock care because of the severity of his injuries. They include lacerations, internal bleeding and trauma. It has left Porter without part of his small intestine.
His family says he might be in a wheelchair for quite some time.
For the teenager, who was just becoming independent in his own ways and had wanted to serve his country in the military, things are suddenly different.
“This is a hard way for a kid to have to move from childhood into adulthood,” said Joshua Wimberley, Porter’s stepfather. “But this is really one of those situations, where he’s going to be forged in fire.
“He’s going to be an amazing man when he comes through this,” Wimberley added.
On April 23rd on Faudree Road, police say a drunk driver hit Porter’s car head-on. It sent his cousin, E.C., who was driving, to the hospital. But Porter had to be airlifted to Lubbock for pediatric trauma care.
“He asked, ‘Mom, why would somebody choose to do this?'” recalled Vanessa Wimberley, Porter’s mother. “And I said, ‘I can’t answer that question, honey.’ That’s something we are going to work on.”
32-year-old Charles Hawn was charged Monday with two counts of intoxication assault.
An affidavit says the suspect claimed he was leaving a friend’s house in Midland after the crash, where he said he had, “some beers.”
“You hear it all the time. The first thing a drunk says, ‘No, I’m fine.’ No, you’re not fine,” Joshua said. “We have to normalize friends standing up for friends, and we have to normalize, it’s okay to ask for help.”
Both parents are educators in the Midland school system. They are pushing to change the culture of drinking, drunk driving and excessive consumption before another tragedy strikes some unsuspecting family.
“I think it’s okay for us to tell our students, to tell our younger friends, it’s okay to call me in the middle of the night,” Vanessa said. “I want you to call me in the middle of the night. And if I can’t get you, I’ll pay for an Uber.”
Porter’s parents said it’s a conversation that needs to be talked about in West Texas. They want to start with the younger generation through social media.
“When we normalize the concept of ‘Get a Ride’ and we make that the cool thing to do, then others will follow,” Joshua said.
Porter’s parents say they hope the alcohol industry takes notice, and that bars follow suit by partnering with rideshare and cab services.
“If this incident changes a generation in twenty years where we’re having significantly less fatalities from alcohol, then it’ll be worth it,” Vanessa said.
Porter’s family said their son wants to recover fast enough to be at school for his last day of 8th grade.
But, they also want to put another reminder out there, that with graduations coming up this month, more drinking may happen. They say, now, more than ever, is an important time to get a ride after drinking.
The family has a GoFundMe set up to help with medical expenses and to help raise money for Porter’s future education. You can find that website here.
The family of EC Busby has a GoFundMe set up to help with medical expenses. You can find that website here.