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In memory of Kelli Laine Lewis

Created by Family Of Kelli Laine Lewis

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."


This Memorial was created to commemorate a loved one's life and to let other families know they can turn to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids for help when struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page to increase awareness of substance use disorders and to provide hope and healing for others.

Guest Book

Comments

1. Julie
Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for your loss.
2. Michelle Smith
I am not sure what it is, but this tribute hit me harder then any of the others. Maybe because her face is like an angel or maybe because of your heartfelt words. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I can't even imagine the day you got the phone call. I am not sure if I could go on. God bless you and thank you for trying to get the word out to these kids. They all think they are in-destructible. One second is all it takes. I hope the trooper who let this kid walk away, has trouble sleepi
3. Sarah Rae Silva
I read your story and you touched my heart. I am working on a school project at the time and I thought it would be a good idea to use Kelli's story if that is fine with you. I am working on a project to prevent drunk driving at my high school. I think her story can help many teenagers. I am real sorry for your loss. God bless you all... Thank you.
4. Carey Pugh
Pam, I am so sorry for your loss. I have been clean and sober for quite a few years and it is only by the grace of God that I am not dead, or have caused the death of another. I have two little girls and a boy on the way, and the video of Kelli on YouTube touched me. Thank you for sharing your pain and hope with others. Your family will be in my prayers. Sincerely, Carey Pugh Texas
5. Little One Who Cares More Than You Think
I am really sorry about what happened. I am reading your article and thinking about what you had to deal with. I came to this website because I am doing a worksheet in health class. I came across your blog and decided to answer my questions like, "what signs do you see that make you realize that the person using drugs is developing a problem." I am really inspired by this article. It really makes me think about if that was me. Thanks for changing the way I see things. -li
6. Debbie Whitt
I am really sorry about Kelli. I know it is mind boggling that people can judge or worse don't even try to help. What animals! My son-n-law was killed in December 2007 in an auto accident. He was drinking and doing drugs. He was not a bad person and we miss him so much. He was 29. He was also thrown from the car and the turn-out was the same as with your daughter. I wish I could help you. I know there is no way to mend your broken heart and I wish so much that it never happened to you.God bless
7. Anjuli Clare
I'm 22 and I know all too well about how drinking can destroy the lives of us and our families. My mother had the same problems with the treatment centers. She knew I had a problem at 15, but I could not get help until I was 18! I almost died several times, and was in and out of the hospital. I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I am sad and outraged that it seems you and your family had to deal with the same run around mine did, and a life was lost as a result. You are in my prayers.
8. Emily Myers
Pam. I am so sorry for your loss and I hope that you get the justice that you deserve. It is a shame what society let this happen. Being a kid once and still, I know that drinking is just a part of it. It is something that we all wonder about and that we think will never hurt us.