A Virginia woman who survived a drunk driving crash is turning her tragedy into a testimony. Kristen Mallory of Chesterfiled wants to expose the damage that driving under the influence can leave behind.
That is why she started “Mallory’s Movement Against Drunk Driving,” to show people that your life, or the life of someone you impact, can change in just a matter of seconds.
By sharing her story, Kristen hopes not only to save lives, but to change them.
“My life was moving right along and then all of the sudden my life came to a complete stop. I thought it would end there,” Kristen described in a documentary video produced through her campaign.
After she and her mother Susan Mallory were hit by a drunk driver in 2013, their lives would never be the same.
“I remember telling, more like screaming, to the police officers and the firefighters, am I going to die?” says Kristen.
She did survive, but almost lost one of her legs. Her recovery was not easy.
“At first I had two broken femurs, two broken hands, a broken collarbone and a concussion,” Kristen told News Channel 11.
Every day since, Kristen has fought an uphill health battle in the wake of the crash. Now, she is picking up the pieces and moving forward.
For Kristen, making a difference helped her find a new purpose in life. That’s how “Mallory’s Movement” was born.
“I’m gonna make a difference just by sharing my story,’ says Kristen.
Kristen now travels the state of Virginia doing just that. She speaks to incarcerated DUI offenders to put a name and face to the damage that decision can leave behind.
She also presents at high schools and colleges to warn students about what can happen if they drive intoxicated or ride with someone who is.
For Kristen, making a difference through her movement helps her cope with the tragedy.
“That helps me deal with it I think. Because I know that most of the time I’m at least impacting one person,” says Kristen.
By her side once again is one police officer who helped save Kristen’s life the day of the crash. Officer Katelyn Stonnell has been a huge part of establishing Mallory’s Movement.
“Kristen is going out and spreading her story to make this impact. What I hope and I pray is they think twice, they think about Kristen, they think about what they thought when she wheeled in in a wheelchair,” says Stonnell.
The Virginia State Police partnered with the Mallorys for this campaign because they say they see death and injury from drunk driving crashes far too often.
“Life can change in an instant. Someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or even looking down a their cell phone, their life can change just like that. Either them or someone they affect,” says Sgt. Mike Willis.
This is a harsh reality that Kristen hopes will be an eye-opener, not just for those who have driven drunk, but for anyone who gets behind the wheel who thinks they are invincible.
Kristen is living proof that no one truly is.
“If I can change one person’s view or one person’s life then I’ve done my job and it’s worth everything I went through,” says Kristen.
Kristen and her family are available to speak to groups on the dangers of drunk driving. They can be reached by email at “firstname.lastname@example.org.”