Brian Hoeflinger died after drinking and driving. His parents are encouraging teens not to drink. (Source: Family)
The car Brian was driving when he crashed. (Source: Family)
ELYRIA, OH (WOIO) -
It's homecoming weekend at Elyria Catholic High School, and parents will be taking pictures and sending their kids off to the dance. But, also worrying about drinking and driving.
Romona Robinson was there as students learned some tough lessons.
Brian Hoeflinger, 18, of Ottawa Hills was an A+ student who played on the varsity golf team and planned to be an orthodontist.
Sadly, in February of 2013, his promising life ended. Brian and his friends were able to buy vodka without being carded, for a birthday party. He was nearly twice the legal adult limit when he got into his car to drive home. Brian crashed into a tree.
Now, his grieving parents hope Brian's story with save other teens lives.
"You don't go out thinking that you're going to die that night when you go to a party, but it can happen. Trust me, Brian wasn't looking to die that night," said Mr. Hoeflinger.
"He would've been the first kid to help somebody if they'd had too much to drink. So he's not the one you would've expected to hit a tree," said Mrs. Hoeflinger.
The numbers are stunning, with 70 percent of teens trying alcohol before the end of high school.
"You see it on Twitter and Instagram and you know it's wrong, yet you see so many of your friends and your peers involved in it and it makes it so much more....tempting in a way, because you see all those around you doing it," said student Kathryn Scarvelli.
So, the Hoeflinger's asked the Elyria Catholic students to take a pledge not to drink.
"It made me realize that you're not just hurting your family, there's people around, your friends and people you don't even know, that you're affecting also," said student Noah Bland.
"I understand that while drinking, you don't really, you're not making those decisions, the alcohol is making that for you and you don't have really good judgement at all," said Jacob Kuchta, student.
"We want to impact the kids in a way that they could feel some of our pain, if they don't take part in the pain we went through, it doesn't impact," said the Hoeflingers.
And, it's working. Students say they'd like to influence others not to drink.
"Even if you just help one person, that's a big difference," said Kathryn.