Mother of drunk driving victim shows gratitude to BCSD

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- Kelly Dehay says it gets easier to drive past the place where her three-year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver 7 years ago but, she says she'll never forget the night it happened.

"There are times where in the blink of an eye I'll have a flash back and I'll remember the sound of the crash," said Dehay. "That's something nobody should ever have to feel."

Now, Dehay can breathe a sigh of relief. The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office has been granted more than $99,104 to hire one new deputy for the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic team, also known as HEAT. The money will cover the cost of salary and equipment.

Dehay says she hopes the grant will saves the lives of young children, just like her daughter Kasey.

"She never had to die. That guy made two choices. He made the choice to drink and the choice to get behind the wheel of the vehicle and drive. The crime was 100 percent preventable."

Since the HEAT program was implemented in 2009, the fatality rate of DUIs in Berkeley County has dropped 25%. Dehay is hoping that number can double.

"That's 50 percent more families that don't have to bury a child," Dehay said. "That $100,000 that it took to do the grant, I mean you can't put a price on a child's life. If it saves one person it's totally worth it."

Dehay says the man responsible for her daughter's death is serving a 24 year sentence at Perry Correctional Facility in Greenville.