Utah mom handing out coffee to help prevent drowsy driving

Posted at 7:04 PM, Sep 28, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-29 01:28:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Drowsy driving causes an average of 1,500 deaths and 40,000 injuries in the United States each year and one woman is doing her part to try and change that.

Lorri Hensler's son Ronnie Thompson was riding in a car between Salt Lake City and Wendover for an early-morning activity in Tooele County in 1998 when the driver fell asleep and drifted off the road, over-corrected and collided with oncoming traffic, killing him.

Now Hensler is hoping to prevent another family from going through what she went through by warning of the dangers of drowsy driving.

"I don't want another mother or father or a family to go through what I went through because it's like a piece of your heart is ripped out of you forever," she said. "If I could just alert somebody to not drive drowsy, just to stop and think and so if they just say, 'I can make it 15 minutes.' If you're tired, you can't make it 15 minutes, you can't make yourself stay awake."

Lorri Hensler and her family will be joined by members of the Utah Highway Patrol on Saturday at a rest stop to hand out coffee and help bring awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving. They will be at the rest stop at Exit 56 along I-80 between noon and 4 p.m.

Hensler set up a Facebook page called No Drowsy Driving (NODD) that can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.