Thursday, May 7, 2009

Greenville native Scott Studabaker gives back to his community after family tragedy

Drunken Driving Victim Gives Free Rides

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Need a ride home after Cinco De Mayo celebrations? You can get one for free in Old Town Scottsdale.

A Valley man's new organization aims to stop drunk driving by giving intoxicated drivers free rides home.

It's called Got a ride? Got a choice.

"We're out to empower and enable people to make responsible choices around drinking and driving," founder Scott Studabaker said.

Studabaker's parents died instantly.

"I was left broken and battered in the back seat," Scott said.

The collision fractured his spine, severely damaged his internal organs, and broke the architect's arm.

"There was a period of time when my family wasn't sure if I would make it or not," he said.

He spent weeks in a coma before undergoing two years of physical rehabilitation.

Now, he's hoping his group will prevent more people from experiencing what he has endured.

"Recently, I realized that's what I'm here for, it's too make that contribution, and make a difference, not only for my life, but for everyone else around me," he said.

Studabaker got Last Call Drivers, Discount Cab, and other local car and cab companies to donate drivers to take revelers and their cars home from Old Town on Cinco De Mayo.

Scott said nothing makes up for the loss of his parents.

"I think of them everyday. It's smallest things I miss. It's the phone calls once a week, " he said.
However, he said giving back has given a reason to go on.

"For me, I was given an opportunity to live life to the fullest," he said.

To get a free ride Tuesday night, viewers can go the intersection of Third Avenue and Craftsman in Old Town.

[Re-produced with permission of reporter Sarah Buduson and KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona. Thank you.]

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