Drunk driver: 'Let me be the example'

Bay News 9July 18, 2014 

Derrick Jenkins and his mother comfort each other. Jenkins lost both his eyes and suffered traumatic brain injuries after driving his motorcycle drunk last year, slamming into a construction truck.

ST. PETERSBURG -- A St. Petersburg family is suffering the consequences of a relative’s decision to drink and drive.

Derrick Jenkins lost both his eyes and suffered traumatic brain injuries after driving his motorcycle drunk last year, slamming into a construction truck. Jenkins wants other people to learn what the mistake cost him and his family.

"Don't go through what I had to go through, what I am going through, let me be the example," said Jenkins. "It's not just me who's affected, it's my family, it's friends, it branches out so much more than just me."

Derrick’s mother, Jennifer, said she lost her job after the accident. She said her son requires constant care and medical bills add up to more than $1 million.

"We have gone from a comfortable family, certainly a comfortable living, to I can’t buy groceries some days and I can't pay my rent," said Jennifer Jenkins. "We're waiting for the Sheriff to come to the door, we've received a 24-hour notice, giving us 24 hours to leave."

Derrick’s younger sister, Destiny, was affected, too. The 19-year-old didn’t finish her freshman year of college and moved back to help care for her brother. An entire family impacted by one person’s decision.

"It's hard to feel everything is my fault," said Derrick.

"I know that my son loves me and he would go back and change everything in a moment if he could," said Derrick's mother. "I know that it pains him every day."

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