Grieving father brings stark message to the BV Fair
"People will walk up to me and ask me how I can possibly do this. I look them in the eye and say to them, 'How could I not do this?'"
After burying his son and one of his son's friends, killed in a collision with a drunk driver in 2001, the first thing Carroll resident Russ Reineke did was go to the salvage yard and buy the wreck of the van they died in, and the twisted hulk of the car that had killed them.
Ever since then, he has been on a crusade to bring the vehicles to as many people as possible - a stark warning of the effects of drinking and driving. Next stop for this dramatic caravan is the Buena Vista County Fair this week, Reineke said.
"The fair board in Buena Vista has been very good to work with me. When I called and told them what I was doing, they were with me right away, and said they thought it would be a good thing to do," he said.
All summer, Reineke will tow the two ruined vehicles somewhere virtually every weekend, going as far as 200 miles from home, spending his own money. During the rest of the year, he also makes two to three trips during each week to appear at schools all around the region. "People ask me how long I'm going to keep this up, and the answer is that I'll do it for as long as anyone will listen."