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“My son’s birthday was approaching when he was killed by a drunk driver,” heartbroken woman narrates

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A grieving mother said her son died “for the price of a taxi” and described her “living nightmare” knowing he would “never come home.” Harry Chapman was two weeks away from his 21st birthday when a drunk driver, speeding at 97mph in a 30mph zone, killed him.

The reckless driver was twice the legal alcohol limit and driving on the wrong side of the road when he hit Harry’s car. His tearful mom, Claire, said she hoped her son “wasn’t scared in the car” that night. Harry had taken his sister Lola bowling on October 7, 2022, and on their way back, picked up his best friend to plan his birthday party in Blackpool.

Claire, who was out that night, got home at 10:50 pm and noticed her son’s car wasn’t there. “We waited for him,” she said. Around 11:15 pm, her daughter suggested going out to look for him, but Claire said, “No, he’s 21, he complains about me babying him, he’s a grown-up, we’ll wait.”

They went to bed, but soon after, there was a loud knock at the door. Claire said her heart “just stopped” when she saw the police outside because she “knew something terrible had happened.” She got in the car with the officers and drove half a mile down the road, seeing many police lights and knowing her son was involved. Claire continued: “The police tried CPR on him for seven minutes before taking him to the hospital. I felt sick driving there.”

At the hospital, Claire saw Harry before his surgery. “There was blood all over him, he was in a neck brace, and I collapsed. They took him to surgery, and we didn’t see him until the morning.” Harry was in a coma, and the family was given a day to say goodbye. Claire described the heartbreaking scene, saying, “I talked to him and gave him his last kiss. It was a goodbye that should never have happened.”

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Claire shared her story to stop others from driving drunk. “If this can save one life, he’d be proud,” she said. “He would want to make a difference, even though he’s not here.” She urged people to stop drunk friends from driving, saying, “If you know they’ve had too much to drink, take their keys. Harry didn’t need to die. My son’s life was taken for the cost of a taxi. There’s no excuse. Plan ahead, drink less, and have money for a taxi. That way, you can have a good time without causing a tragedy.”

Superintendent Gareth Mason of West Midlands Police said Harry’s story is a “stark reminder of the terrible effects of drink driving.” He added, “It ruins the lives of victims and their families and affects entire communities.” He said the police would enforce a zero-tolerance policy and increase patrols during the Euros to catch drunk drivers and keep everyone safe on the roads.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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