042017 Waccamaw High: Father will share son’s story of drinking and driving
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Waccamaw High: Father will share son’s story of drinking and driving

By Nikki Best
Coastal Observer

One choice can change everything.

On Aug. 6, 2016, Roy Woolwine was out of town. He travels often for work. He was out of town, and his 16-year-old son Frank was killed in a car accident at 2:06 a.m. Frank was the driver.

“He was intoxicated,” Woolwine said. “He was by himself, which was a blessing actually.”

Frank was a football player at Freeman High School in Virginia. He took one of the family cars, saying he was hungry, and left. In reality, he left to visit a girl and was heading toward her house at excessive speed, Woolwine said. “He crashed,” he said. “He made several bad decisions that night.”

In remembrance, Woolwine has begun telling Frank’s story. He is in the midst of setting up The Frankie Woolwine Story, a 501(c)3 to support the cause.

“It’s not only drinking and driving,” he said. “It’s every decision they make is a decision that affects them. They need to just take a second.”

He isn’t promoting speaking engagements since the foundation isn’t up and running yet. WHS is his first on-the-road experience.

Prior to this he has spoken at several schools around his Richmond, Va., home, including Frank’s former high school.

WHS science teacher Nelle Stephenson is working on prom this year and helped arrange the annual assembly. The program comes eight weeks to the day after WHS student Jamisa Lewis was killed in a car accident.

“We’ve had so much tragedy in this area it seems this school year,” Stephenson said. “With children and car accidents, either with or without alcohol, and I think it’s just time to really hear a message and pay attention.”

Woolwine is just trying to make a difference while muddling through grief. He says if he can reach one student, if he can get him or her to slow down and think about the long term effects of a decision, he’ll have succeeded. “It’s a bad decision to drink in the first place,” Woolwine said. “But you compound that decision if you jump behind the wheel of a car.”

WHS Prom is April 28. Stephenson hopes the students have a night to remember and they remember the assembly. “I hope this message will be loud and clear and fresh in their minds,” she said.

Woolwine will speak to the students during fourth block on Wednesday. He will speak again at 6 p.m. in the auditorium. The evening event is free and open to the public.

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