Slain family honored on two year anniversary of their deaths
MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. - DUIs are on the rise in Johnson County. On the 2 year anniversary of a fatal drunk driving crash, the sheriff's office is conducting a sobriety checkpoint in honor of the victims. Two years ago the Henson's lives were changed forever. "Worst thing you could ever think of," Ronnie Henson said. Their daughter Molly, her husband Nick and their new baby girl Harper had just left the Henson's house and we're headed to Boone, North Carolina for dinner.
"I pray that no one goes through this," Shelley Henson said. A drunk driver hit them head on, killing the family instantly. The drunk driver later died in the hospital. Molly and Nick were high school sweethearts and just before their tragic deaths they were advancing in their careers.
Molly was a guidance counselor and health coordinator for Johnson County Schools. Nick had just been promoted to corporal at the Northeast Tennessee Corrections Complex. Meanwhile, their daughter was just learning to walk.
"All three of them were good for the community, good to the community and the community was good for them," Ronnie said. Now the community is pulling together for change in honor of the young family. "It impacted the whole county, and it still does and that's why we will still do this until we get every drunk driver off the road," Sheriff Mike Reece said. The sheriff's office set up a DUI checkpoint just miles from where the deadly crash happened 2 years ago, but the goal is about more than making arrests. "These checkpoints we have are a thing to educate people, it's not to arrest drunk drivers, it's to get information out there," Sheriff Reece said. While the Henson's will never get their family back, they volunteer to make sure nobody else will lose their's. "If they can just stop one so this doesn't happen to another family," Ronnie said. The off duty officers who were working the sobriety checkpoint are being paid by a grant from the Action Coalition. Action Coalition volunteers were also there passing out brochures on drunk driving and substance abuse.