A man was left paralysed and his three small children killed after a drunk driver slammed into their car.
Somchai Lurak (26) miraculously survived the horrific accident in Idaho in the United States and is recovering in the hospital.
His fiancée, Emma Weigand (25), was in the passenger seat and escaped with a broken arm and cracked ribs. But his daughters, Aneena (6), Kya (5) and Drayka (3), died on impact.
Somchai’s devastated brother, Anthony Smock (34), had to break the news of the girls’ death to him.
"Just when I think I might be getting over the worst, the tears just start rolling,” Anthony said.
"I start thinking about my nieces' beautiful smiles and sweet little giggles, and how every time I would sweep them up into my arms and give them hugs and kisses.”
Restaurant manager Somchai was driving home from his sister Amanda Lurak-Moldenhauer (27) and was stationary at a red traffic light when the accident happened.
"It's a miracle that we still have Somchai,” Anthony said.
He explained that his brother had suffered severe trauma to seven neck vertebrae and that doctors were “amazed that he has any feeling in his legs whatsoever”.
"But his road to recovery will be long and it will be expensive.”
The drunk driver, who’s since admitted guilt, will face three counts of vehicular manslaughter. Somchai’s family are sharing their heartbreaking story to raise awareness of the dire consequences of drinking and driving.
They’ve also started a GoFundMe page to cover Somchai’s medical bills.
"We've been overwhelmed as family, friends and even strangers have donated more than $50 000 (R725 000) to help with Somchai's medical care,” Anthony said.
"My brother has said he's doing the best he can, but he's devastated.”
Doctors doubt that the young dad will ever be able to walk again.
"I want them back and I want my brother to be able to have his babies,” Anthony said of his nieces.
"They were the sweetest girls. Our family have three pieces of our hearts missing forever now.”
His message to those who drive under the influence is clear: "To everyone, everywhere, I'm begging you, never ever drink and drive – it's selfish and stupid and can destroy people’s lives and families forever.”
Sources: Magazine Features