Memorial sign dedication held in remembrance of drunk driving victim in Seymour

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) -Today marks one year since 18-year-old Garrett Fogelson’s life was ended after being involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver on U.S. 82 about 3 miles west of Seymour. A special memorial was revealed, dedicated to Garrett on the one-year anniversary of his death.

“I would do anything to have my son back,” said Jessica Judd, mother of Garrett Fogelson.

The average person sleeps about 8 hours every night. What if I told you, that by the time you woke up at least one person has died in a drunk driving crash. According to TxDOT, approximately one person is killed every 8 hours and 15 minutes in the state of Texas due to drunk driving. This is exactly what caused the death of 18-year-old Garrett Fogelson one year ago.

“It’s a little overwhelming this day one year ago September 16th, 2021 we were hit head-on by a drunk driver,” Judd said. ”I was burned over 30 percent of my body. Bones were shattered. My son lost his life.”

Jessica says it’s not easy revisiting the same site of the crash and is constantly reminded of how she first heard of her son’s passing.

“It’s really hard and the first three months I was in ICU at the Parkland burn unit and I didn’t know my son had passed,” Judd said. ”When I woke up I asked where is Garrett where is Garrett everyone would tell me it’s going to be ok, it’s going to be ok but it wasn’t ok.”

She is now doing her best to use this tragedy they experienced to shed light on drunk driving in the state and hopes this memorial will do just that.

“You really don’t think it will happen to you and I want to bring awareness through him, through his life and it’s hard,” Judd said, “Especially today, being the actual one-year anniversary and to have this dedicated on this same day is super special.”

“You know we’re all so lucky to have her, even through it all, you know she keeps us going and we keep her going,” Judd said.

Jessica was able to team up with non-profit Andrea’s Project of Amarillo to help fund the sign that was then created and installed by TxDOT. Judd said she couldn’t do it without the support and hopes that whoever sees the sign will think again before drinking and driving.

“I hope people will look at it and google his name or google his story and think twice even for their own families,” Judd said.