HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly one month after his brother, Dylan, was killed in an accident in Hanover County, DJ Ballard is speaking out about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Dy. Ballard was one of two killed on April 23rd when the car they were in swerved off the road and hit a tree.
With prom and graduation around the corner, DJ Ballard took it upon himself to make a video for local high schools.
His message to teens is simple: don’t drink and drive.
“You’re not invincible,” said Ballard.
He said he wants no family to go through what his family has been through.
“The hurt is unbearable,” he said. “There will never be anything to fill it.”
“The hurt is unbearable. There will never be anything to fill it.” –DJ Ballard
Now he’s taking the tragedy and turning it into a lesson, in hopes of saving a life.
“It’s definitely going to take a group of people to start letting these kids know that there is so much more to life than a party, than a drink,” said Ballard.
Ballard said even if he can get just one kid to stand up and say ‘no,’ it’s worth it. But he said it shouldn’t have to take to something like this to get people to take a stand.
“I hate that I am doing this right now because what has happened I wish I could be doing this right now with him here,” said Ballard.
According to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) more than 4,500 teens die annually in alcohol-related crashes, even some that weren’t behind the wheel.
“It’s far too often that kids get into the car with somebody who’s been drinking,” said Chris Konschak with MADD.
Konschak says teens need to hear more from parents.
“Make sure they’re having conversations with kids about alcohol and making sure they know what their expectations are,” said Konschak.
The Mechanicsville Christian Center is holding a #HanoverStrong community prayer on Saturday, May 28th where Ballard’s mother is expected to speak. It will be from 7-8:30pm at 8601 Shady Grove Road.