Alabama Mom’s One-Woman Crusade on Drowsy Driving

A mother from Andalusia is making it her life’s mission to make sure no one suffers the same loss she did. Sheila Falkner has been pushing for a law to prosecute drowsy driving for the last ten years.  The life of Wendall Williams came to an end ten years ago on November 19th, 2006. The car he was riding in crashed on the Martin Luther King expressway. The driver according to reports fell asleep behind the wheel.

“It’s been a long ten years and not a day goes by I don’t think about him, he had a kind heart,” said Falkner. Last Saturday, on the 10 year anniversary of this crash, Sheila Falkner was joined by law enforcement in Baldwin County to urge people not to drive drowsy behind the wheel.

“I don’t want what happened to me to happen to someone else, it’s just not fair, there should be repercussions,” said Falkner. Falkner’s been doggedly pursuing this issue–getting a resolution from the state legislature last year but no law yet.

“I cashed in my life insurance policy and washed cars, for $5 a vehicle to pay for my son’s headstone,” said Falkner. In last week’s news conference, she was joined by others who shared her concerns.

“It’s always somebody that has to go through a loss to bring awareness to the public and to create change,’ said Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair. Falkner says there’s no reason for a mother to bury her child. She’s been relentless in raising awareness on this issue.  People in favor of a law argue a car can be a dangerous weapon in the hands of a drowsy driver. Change may be slow in coming. Only three states classify drowsy driving as a crime. Some other states have passed laws and resolutions researching fatigued driving and the effects of getting behind the wheel without sleeping for 24 hours.

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