Kelli Laine Lewis
My beautiful daughter kelli was killed by alcohol. At age 15 we knew kelli had a problem. We tried to get her help but were told no place in South Carolina & North Carolina would take her because Kelli was a MINOR. We called family courts to get Kelli placed in a treatment center. They told us that Kelli was too close to the age of 16, which they considered an "adult" so they could not help us. We called the police on Kelli -- we would have rather her be in jail than live every parents' worst nightmare. The police told us they could not get Lelli out of a home where adults were providing alcohol because it was in a "private" home, and she was considered too close to the age of being an "adult" at age 15?!! They said there was nothing they could do. We called a judge to have Kelli probated into an adult facility. The judge told us he could not help us because she was a MINOR. We waited 6 long months to see an expert teen psychiatrist in another state. Kelli knew she had a problem and wanted help. The "doctor" refused to even see Kelli because she might be "dual diagnosis." Trust that this all makes NO sense to me either! We went through almost all the horrors that alcoholism and addiction brings to a family. We all waited until kelli turned 18, then she checked herself into a treatment center. Sadly they released Kelli within a week and had her doing outpatient treatment. Kelli was actually doing so much better! We thought we had reached a turning point. Until.... 3 "adults" passed out flyers at Kelli's high school. "$5.00 a head -- come drink all you want." Kelli did just that along with 60 other high school students. Kelli left our house with a good designated driver, but got so drunk at the "party" she refused to leave with her driver. The driver found her another ride, but that person just left Kelli there. Everyone knew my phone number- but no one called. Kelli caught a ride home with a boy she knew from school. An underage friend of his was driving them all home. 3 miles from our home they raced another underage drunk driver who had been at the same house drinking with them. They raced on impulse. The car Kelli was a passenger in went off the road and flew up in the air. It took out the top off of three trees. Kelli was thrown from the car and then it landed on top of my baby girl. All three kids died on impact. All were over twice the legal limit. The other underage drunk driver was allowed to "call a friend" and was never charged. Not a speeding ticket, no underage drinking, no DUI. The three "adults" were never charged either. They promoted, provided and profited off the selling of alcohol to minors resulting in three deaths and no charges? They even had a "party" the next weekend! We are more than outraged. There was a mentality in our area that these kids got themselves killed. Trust that all three of our families know that our children participated in their own deaths. Our children paid the ultimate price for their actions that night. We only wish the state agencies would have cared enough about them to make others that participated in their deaths accountable for their actions. To stick the knife in a little deeper, the state has ignored my repeated attempts to change the laws here regarding underage drinking. We couldn't even get victims assistance to get a headstone for Kelli's grave because of "no charges" being filed. Like one of the songs someone made about the kids deaths says..."Something ain't right in South Carolina". I am doing what my state has refused to do. That is getting drunk drivers off the road and changing people's thoughts that they can get into a car with someone that has been drinking. I do a page for Kelli on MySpace.com that has saved many lives. Kelli's page has been on FOX News and another movie is being made about Kelli & her MySpace page. So far kelli's page has been viewed by 90,000 people. I will make sure that Kelli's life and death mattered in the world. That is the only way I can take another baby step without her each day. Please feel free to visit Kelli's page on MySpace and get to know her. You don't have to be a member to view it. The page is done through her eyes and I think that is why it has such an impact on people, they feel they really know kelli. www.myspace.com/kelli_laine_doa I miss too many things about Kelli to list -- but the open wound in my heart is a constant reminder that my baby girl is gone. My best suggestions: If your child has a problem, don't take "no" for an answer from those you seek help from. Go out of state and do whatever you have to do to get them help. Do not listen to people that say "you have to let them hit bottom" -- this does not apply if it's your child. Your child's bottom might be their death! If you are a person that has a problem: Please know that Kelli was the kid in school that used to watch the movies about kids drinking, would come home and tell me how sad it was -- but "that will never happen to me." Now someone else is sitting in Kelli's seat at school watching the movie "Grave Decisions" made about her death, and thinking the exact same thing. If you don't care enough about yourself to get help, think about your family and friends, it's a horrible life for those of us left to go on without you. We feel nothing but pain and guilt that we couldn't love you through your addiction and get you help. Thank you for helping me take another baby step today by providing this site with Kelli's story. Much love and gratitude, Pam, Forever Kelli's mom ...or as kelli would always say "peace out."
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