In just a few weeks, West Virginia University students will be packing their bags for Cancun, Myrtle Beach and other spring break destinations. Mark Sterner hopes drinking and driving arent part of the mix.
In 1994, Sterner, then a 21-year-old senior at Johnson&Wales University in Rhode Island, was supposed to be the first member of his family to graduate from college. Instead, he ended up with three felony manslaughter convictions and spent three years in prison after a night of spring break partying turned tragic.
Out to live it up on their last night on Sanibel Island, Fla., Sterner and his fraternity brothers decided to choose the”least drunk”among them to drive them from bar to bar. That proved to be a deadly mistake.
Sterner killed three of his friends in a car crash. Tests after the fatal accident showed he had a blood alcohol level of .17.
Sterner says he often wonders,Would my friends be married now? Would they have kids? I dont know. Ill wonder �€~what iffor the rest of my life.
He doesnt want others to go through the same thing, so he shares his story with high school and college students across the country. On Wednesday, March 3, Sterner will bring his sobering message to WVU s Mountainlair Ballrooms. The presentation,DUI: A Powerful Lesson,begins at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
During his presentation, Sterner will show a video his friends made during their tripimages of laughing college students driving from one bar to the next, downing shots of alcohol and dancing, followed by photos of the car after the accident.
This event is sponsored by the Center for Rural Emergency Medicine, Governors Highway Safety Program, Office of Drug Abuse Intervention Studies, University Health Service, WVU Community Medicine and WVU Student Organizations.
For more information, contact Ruth Kershner, Department of Community Medicine, 304-293-7440.