New Braunfels woman featured in new TxDOT drunk driving awareness campaign

The holiday season is officially underway, and it’s one of the deadliest times of the year on Texas roads. 

To remind Texans to drive safe and drive sober, TxDOT is launching a new campaign, which features a New Braunfels woman who grew up without her parents—all thanks to a drunk driver back in 1985.

A new public service announcement from TxDOT is taking a humorous approach to a deadly serious issue this holiday season. It urges people to call a rideshare, have a designated driver, and stay off the roads if they’ve been drinking.

There’s no question alcohol is a major reason why fatal crashes tend to spike over the holidays. Austin has already seen about 100 deadly crashes so far in 2022, and December hasn’t even started.

For Erin Crawford-Bowers of New Braunfels, those aren’t just numbers.

"We were hit head-on going full speed at about 70 miles an hour," said Crawford-Bowers. "I had a severe concussion, a broken arm, a broken leg and I was immediately orphaned."

In 1985, when she was six months old, Crawford-Bowers narrowly survived a crash caused by a drunk driver near Houston. Both of her parents were killed.

"The day I got married and just wanted my father to walk me down the aisle, that didn't happen. The day I had a baby and you just want your mom by your side, I didn't get that—all because one person had a choice to take that away from me and my family."

Bowers is now part of TxDOT’s Faces of Drunk Driving campaign to remind Texans of the real people whose lives are destroyed by impaired drivers.

"We're going to put a stop to people making these decisions," said Crawford-Bowers.

This holiday season she’s urging everyone to plan ahead—get an Uber or have a designated driver—to ensure no one else has to endure the heartache she’s lived with for nearly 40 years.

"If you know you're going to go out and have a good time, that's great - we want you to. but we also want you to make safe, smart decisions when you're in the right frame of mind, prior to going out for the night," said Crawford-Bowers.