Lubbock Uber driver encouraging safe rides following Sunday's fa - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock Uber driver encouraging safe rides following Sunday's fatal accident

Local Uber driver, Patti Timian (source: KCBD vdieo) Local Uber driver, Patti Timian (source: KCBD vdieo)
Patti's father in-law (right) was killed by a drunk driver in 1997 (source: Patti Timian) Patti's father in-law (right) was killed by a drunk driver in 1997 (source: Patti Timian)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Following the news of Sunday's fatal accident, a local Uber driver is encouraging Lubbock residents, now more than ever, to plan for a safe ride home.

But it's her reason for becoming an Uber driver that she hopes people will listen to, and truly think twice about before getting behind the wheel after a night out.

It's a message we're exposed to all of the time: Don't drink and drive.

"You don't realize how much it turns somebody's world completely upside down."

But for Lubbock Uber driver Patti Timian, seeing another victim of an alleged drunk driving accident hits too close to home.

"June 28th of 97, my family and I were headed on vacation. My in-laws were behind us in their vehicle," Timian, said.

In a matter of moments, what was supposed to be a fun family trip to Ohio turned into a traumatic experience, impacting Timian's family forever.

A drunk driver sped across all lanes of traffic, hitting her in-law's car and killing her father in-law.

"He passed away the next day around noon due to head trauma. My mother in-law spent a month in the hospital and was completely disabled from it for the remainder of her life," Timian said.

The drunk driver fled the scene, and ultimately ended up serving 16 years in prison.

"Three hours after the wreck, his blood alcohol content was .28," she said.

And though nearly 20 years have passed, the experience has stayed with Patti and her two children.

So Timian decided, maybe she can make a difference.

"That was the reason that I started driving Uber. I can't save the world but if I can keep 15, 20 people from driving on a Friday and Saturday night, then that is 15 or 20 lives that may be saved," she said.

She hopes her story will encourage Lubbock residents to find a safe ride, and to think about the consequences on both ends of these accidents.

"This was somebody's mother, somebody's sister, somebody's daughter, somebody's aunt, and somebody's friend...I know exactly what they're all going through. And it's heart-wrenching. Your life stops," Timian said.

She says she has faith people will realize the cost of a safe ride is so much less than what comes out of unfortunate accidents involving alcohol, as she continues to do her part to keep Lubbock's streets safe on the weekend.

"I'm glad I was able to be available or get them home to where they were going. You never know, you may have saved somebody's life," Timian said.

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