Drunk Driving Kills Two Columbians
"He was an exceptional father," said one victim's cousin Shane Talbert. "He loved his kids."
Some family members were too emotional to speak after Clay Greenplate, a loving father and husband, was killed by a drunk driver early Sunday morning.
"It's just one of those things you never want to happen to you," said Talbert. "You know, to your family. It happened to one of the greatest guys in the whole world."
Greenplate was going home after visiting a friend. He was headed west on Broadway when police say he was hit head on by an intoxicated Martha Miller.
"We have her now," said Columbia Policeman Will Green. "She is under arrest, and she has been charged with involuntary manslaughter."
Miller had her two nieces in the car, ages 10 and 15. They were taken to the hospital and later released. But Clay Greenplate's family will always have a hole.
"It's something that they'll never get over," said Talbert. "Clay has done so much for his kids. He just loved his children loved his wife."
A second fatality accident in Columbia around 4:00am left 21-year-old Christopher Crum. Police say he was traveling south on Old Highway 63 when he ran off the road hitting a metal barrier and trees.
Crum was later found to have alcohol in his system. While it's too late for the Greenplate family, police say it's not too late to stop this from happening again.
"to be on the safe side, if you're going to drink, don't drive," said Green.
Police say drivers should take extra caution during the holiday season. This time of year sees an increased rate of drunk-driving related accidents.