Proposed ‘Bentley’s Law’ would make drunk drivers pay child support if parent is killed
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) - Cecilia Williams is turning her anger into action. She’s pushing Missouri legislators to support a proposed new law that she’s named, ‘Bentley’s Law,’ after her 5-year old grandson.
“The main aspect of Bentley’s law is financial responsibility by the offender,” she said.
Williams began working on new the legislation that targets drunk drivers, after an accident in April on Highway 30 in Byrnes Mill that claimed the life of three loved ones. Her son, Cordell Williams, his fiancé Lacey Newton and their 4-month old son, Cordell Williams II, were killed when the car they were in was rear-ended and went off the road and crashed.
David Thurby, of Fenton, is charged with three counts of DWI death of another. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, and according to court documents, he told a trooper he’d had “seven shots of Crown and water.”
Williams is now raising the couple’s two other children, 3-year old Mason and 5-year old Bentley, whom the legislation is named after. She wants to see a new law that would require drunk drivers who cause the death of a parent or parents to pay child support to a surviving spouse or the relatives raising the victim’s children, until the children turn 18-years old.
“They deserve to get that compensation because you’re talking about raising children that their parents are no longer here,” said Williams.
Missouri State Representative Mike Henderson, of Bonne Terre, plans to introduce ‘Bentley’s Law’ during the next legislative session.
“I do firmly believe that these people who are driving drunk and take away the parents of these children, there’s got to be some help for these children. It comes down to that,” he said.
Williams believes the monthly child support payments would make an offender think twice before drinking and driving again. She said a state lawmaker in Tennessee has agreed to introduce a ‘Bentley’s Law’ in that state when the legislative session begins next year. Williams hopes to take her fight against drunk driving nationwide.
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