Courtney Birch was a beautiful, adorable, loving little boy, and the spitting image of his father Glynn. He was the light in his family’s eyes, and the child who couldn’t wait for the day to begin.
That beautiful light was dimmed on May 3rd, 1988, when he was killed by a multiple repeat offender drunk driver. Courtney just wanted an ice cream from the ice cream truck when the drunk driver appeared out of nowhere going more than 70 miles an hour. The driver had a blood alcohol content of .26, more than two and half times the legal limit. He was driving so fast that he killed Courtney instantly, dragging his poor little body more than 150 feet before the car stopped.
Courtney wasn’t even 2-years-old. I didn’t know him, but I have learned to love him from the stories Glynn tells of this bright inquisitive child, whose life was cut so tragically short by a drunk driver.
Courtney shares a sad anniversary with my daughter, Cari, as they were both killed on May 3rd. Both children were killed by drivers with a long history of drinking and driving. The man who killed Courtney was also driving with a revoked driver’s license.
Glynn turned his pain into activism and joined MADD, first at the local level, then moving up until he became the first minority and the first “man” to lead the organization as President. He continues to share his story, speaking before Victim Impact Panels, schools, and community organizations so that others may learn of the devastation caused by drunk drivers. “My family is the most important thing in my life,” says Glenn, “and losing Courtney was almost unbearable. He would be proud of my efforts, and I feel him smiling down on me.”
We Save Lives honors Courtney, and the tens of thousands of other victims killed in drunk, drug and distracted driving crashes.