Travis Berkley’s Family Talks About Life After Distracted Driving Tragedy
April 21, 2017 started out like any other regular day for Travis Berkley and his family. It ended tragically with Travis losing his life in a distracted driving accident.
Travis' wife, Teresa and his brother, Chris, described their life before the accident, what happened that night and how their life looks moving forward.
Teresa Berkley: "We were an average American family. We were happy and healthy and we...everything was perfect. I wouldn't change anything about it. We did basketball games and baseball games and spent tons of family things together. Then, it was me and him time and we went and rode together. It was like a fairy tale."
Teresa remembered how April 21, 2017 began.
Teresa Berkley: "It was just an average day. He had to go to work and I asked him if he wanted to go on a ride after he got off work and he said yes. And, so me and some friends waited for him to get off work and one of our spontaneous rides that we do. And, nothing was different about that night. We were headed home."
Chris Berkley was not on that ride with Travis and Teresa. He also remembered how that night began.
Chris Berkley: "I wasn't at the accident when it happened. I was at home just watching TV enjoying my night. I heard a bunch of sirens going by my house right off Kimberly Road. The accident was just about a half mile down the road from my house. I heard all the sirens and ended up getting a phone call right then from one of the riders that was with the group in a panic that Travis was hurt and I needed to get down there as soon as possible."
When Chris arrived at the accident scene, what he saw was terrifying. Despite attempts by police and paramedics, they were unable to save Travis. By the time that Life Flight had arrived, Travis was gone.
Chris Berkley: "It was definitely a very crazy night. Having so many different feelings go through your body from the anger to the fear to the emptiness of everything of watching your little brother being worked on at the side of the road...I had to watch Teresa standing next to him, encouraging my little brother to push through and not to leave her."
Both Teresa and Chris confirmed that there were no drugs or alcohol involved in the accident. It was a tragedy caused solely due to distracted driving.
Now, Teresa and her 4 kids must face an uncertain future.
Chris Berkley: "The future is very open right now. It's crazy that a mistake take someone else's future away and we have a whole another future to deal with."
Teresa offered this advice to anyone who thinks this can't happen to them.
Teresa Berkley: "It's not 'if', it's 'when'. It can happen to anybody. Look once, look twice, look three times. You look as many times as it takes. Take your time. Slow down. It's not worth ruining somebody else's life. You're not hurting one person. You're could be hurting an entire family. You don't know how many people you're going to affect."
A special thank you to Teresa and Chris Berkley for their courage in allowing their pain to try and reach out to other people to help them avoid this awful fate.
Thanks also to Arlo G Lott Trucking in Jerome, Wendell Tire Point S, Gary Amoth Trucking of Twin Falls and Giltner Trucking in Jerome for supporting the effort to help everyone behind the wheel understand that 'Drive Means Drive'.