Former prison inmate, DUI crash victim to speak at GPTC

COVINGTON Chris Sandy was a pretty normal 22-year-old kid. He enjoyed playing sports, fishing and hanging out with his friends.

In 2000, that normal life came to an abrupt end when he decided to go to a party, slam four drinks and drive on a country road outside Atlanta.

Traveling at a speed of 77 mph in a 35-mph speed zone, Sandy's car crashed into an oncoming vehicle, killing the elderly couple in the oncoming car.

Sandy will chronicle his journey during a special presentation at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Conference Center of Georgia Piedmont Technical College's Newton Campus Building D, which is located at 8100 Bob Williams Parkway in Covington. The presentation, which is hosted by the college's Law Enforcement Academy, is free and open to the public.

Sandy's oral testimony about impaired driving and its consequences will be interwoven with the showing of the 2008 DUI television documentary "Enduring Regret: Chris Sandy's Story of Living Life After Causing Death."

In 2009, the documentary won two Emmy Awards -- one for Best Documentary for a television presentation with dramatic impact and one for Best Director -- from the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Sandy was charged and convicted on two counts of vehicular homicide by DUI and spent more than eight years in prison. During his incarceration, Sandy's commitment to preventing others from repeating his mistakes led him to share his story with more than 130,000 young people in Georgia. Sandy was released from prison in 2009 and is serving the remainder of his sentence on parole/probation until 2031.

Now a consultant at Atlanta-based Enduring Regret, the former inmate continues sharing his live "Enduring Regret" presentations to people of all ages at schools, colleges, conferences, military bases and business organizations nationwide.

Joining Sandy onstage will be Eric Krug, who was once a standout baseball player at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and later a victim of a DUI crash.

Krug was a typical college student enjoying life, but the life that he knew came to an abrupt and horrific end on his21stbirthday.

On that night, Krug made a life-altering choice: he and three other friends got into a car that was being driven by a drunk driver. The drunk driver crashed into several trees, killing Krug's teammate and best friend.

He suffered head trauma and was left in a coma for more than a year.

Because of the traumatic brain injury that he sustained, Krug lives withcomplications. He is unable to speak and uses adaptive equipment tocommunicate with others; he has short-term memory loss and has difficulties recallingimportant events in his life.

From the horrific crash, Krug must walk with the assistance of a walker oruse a wheelchair.

Like Sandy, Krug has made it his mission to save lives by sharing his story at middle schools, high schools, colleges, churches and military basesnationwide. Krug's message is delivered through an iPad and voice of his mother Joyce Krug or Sandy, who is his brother-in-law.