Dangers of drinking discussed

MAYFIELD – Bailey Wind was a 17-year old senior at Shaker High School on December 1, 2012 when she got into a car with her boyfriend Chris Stewart and friend Deanna Rivers and River’s boyfriend.

During their drive along the Northway, another car driven by a drunk driver hit the vehicle the four teens were in. Stewart and Rivers were killed, and Wind and River’s boyfriend were both seriously injured in the crash.

Wind said she spent almost two hours inside the wreckage before rescue crews could get her out, wondering if she would get out alive.

Wind was at Mayfield High School on Friday to speak with students about both the accident that changed her life, and her struggle to get where she is today.

Mayfield has its high school prom scheduled for tonight and graduation parties are coming up soon. Students listening to Wind were prompted to think about what could happen if they got behind the wheel after drinking, or let a friend drive drunk.

She asked students if they could live with themselves if something like her accident was ever caused by them.

“You have a choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” Wind said. “You have a choice to stop someone from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle if they’ve been drinking.”

Wind told students she has been through multiple mouth surgeries since the accident. The accident caused lung injuries and both short-term and long-term memory loss.

“You only get one life, and you need to make the right choice,” Wind said.

She just finished her freshman year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she is on the diving team. Her deceased boyfriend has come along with her in a way, his picture hangs up in her locker at college for motivation.

Wind said that although she is still not 100 percent, she is doing better than she has been.

“I can honestly say that the past month has been the best I’ve been in a long time, I’ve been genuinely happy,” Wind said.

She has written a book called “Save Me a Spot in Heaven” about her relationship with Stewart before the accident and how she has been doing since he died.

The school raffled off a copy of the book to students during the assembly.

Several students at Mayfield have read the book and were affected by it. Several stayed behind after the speech to speak with Wind and take photos with her.

Senior Victoria Lander said she found the speech moving and wanted to cry during it.

Lander told Wind after the event that when people get into a car, they don’t expect an accident to happen to them. They expect it to happen to someone else.

Wind has been going to high schools talking about her experience with an aim toward getting students to think about the consequences of their actions. She said she finds students can relate to her because she is close to their age.

She hopes students take her message about choices and make the correct ones, including not speeding, not texting while driving and not drinking before getting behind the wheel.

“I’d rather help one person than nobody at all,” Wind said.