By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Drunk driver robbed family of lives
Letter Futch
Beth and Joshua Porter with Reid - photo by Photo provided.
Editor, Beth Porter was seven months pregnant with our little Reid Porter. It was a happy time in my son Joshua and Beth's lives. They had already lost a child in a miscarriage.
Joshua was deployed with the Navy in mid-February. Beth was having difficulties, but striving to carry little Reid.
She was still working, passing time while her husband was in Kuwait. I last spoke with her on a Sunday to see how she was feeling. Better, she said. She was getting ready to go to work. I didn't keep her long and told her to pat little Reid and tell him I love him.
She said OK and laughed. I told her I loved her too, never knowing it would be our last goodbye. On her way home from work that night, disaster hit our family.
A drunk driver crossed the median into oncoming traffic. Two cars dodged him but Beth didn't have a chance. He hit her head on, killing little Reid instantly and leaving Beth trapped in her car. She was still alert when a Good Samaritan stopped and stayed by her side. He found her cell phone and she asked him to call her mom. He explained to her mom in Illinois she was in a car accident. Her mom could hear her talking in the background saying, call the Red Cross, call the Red Cross. She wanted her husband.
Beth's dad was visiting in Gulfport, Miss. where she lived. The police reached him and took him to the hospital. Her mom had a 12-hour drive to get to her.
I received the call Monday morning at work from my son, Joshua, saying Beth had been in a bad accident, Reid was dead, and Beth was critical. That night, my dad and his wife drove me to Gulfport. On the way, around 10:30, we got the call that Beth was gone. We met my son at the airport with the chaplain, his chief, and three other Navy friends. My dad, Joshua's dad and I went also. The airline kept everyone seated for Josh to get off first. Only for my son to hear that his beautiful wife and baby didn't make it. My heart ached for my son. He said, "Momma, I didn't want to get off that plane!"
He wanted to see his wife so we went by the hospital before heading to his house where Beth's family was.
A tragedy none of us will ever forget. A young man went out partying and his mistake was getting behind the wheel of his car. He destroyed a family.
I think back on so many times I did the same thing that young man did. I thank God I never hurt anyone and I also thank God for touching me and changing my life. I know this young driver's family mourns him also. He was someone's son, but made a very bad choice.
Please, I beg anyone who drives under the influence not to. That sign you see, drinking and driving kills, well it does.
Beth and Reid Porter were laid to rest on March 1 in Newnan, Ill. She was 29 years old.

Here is part of what I wrote for the funeral:
Our Loved Ones

Not ever seeing Beth again will be hard for us. Even though she is with little Reid, we will miss her dearly. You see, she didn't want Reid to leave without her, she loved him so very much...
In a moment, she and Reid were taken from us with no chance to say goodbye. Heartache fills us today and many more to come. We won't hear little Reid's cries or see his first steps. His life never began here, but within his mommy's tummy, he knew the love we shared. They say a mother's love is just a heartbeat from being as one. He felt his daddy's hand and head upon Beth's tummy from within where he laid. He would hear the things they'd say. So quickly life can be gone, so hold your loved ones close, like it is your last because it could be...

Marcia Futch
Sign up for our e-newsletters