Mark Wandall: February 4, 1973 – October 24, 2003

Mark Wandall: February 4, 1973 – October 24, 2003

This is the 21st Father’s Day that I will once again spend without my oldest son, Mark. 

I am most certain we would have been planning which NASCAR track we would be “hitting” next.

Unfortunately, there are no more Father’s Days with my son, no more NASCAR races, no more laughs and certainly no more memories to make. 

I miss my son terribly and the decision of one person in less than a moment to not pay attention to a simple safety law ended time with my son. 

As Mark’s dad, I can tell you that no parent should ever have to endure the pain my wife, Gwen and I have suffered. 

The hole in our hearts will never heal but we press on in hope that our message will be heard through Melissa, (our daughter in law) as she advocates for Roadway safety commitments, programs, and The Mark Wandall Foundation. 

As a Dad, I can tell you that Mark was everything a parent could ever ask for and then some. Our time was so special and he is tragically missed. 

I was at the crash site and witnessed our son in the car and I take that vision to bed every night because of an inattentive driver. 

The personal repercussions from this crash are ten-fold.

By writing this message about my son, who he was, and who we will never hug again; I plead with all drivers to recognize that we are driving “weapons.” That we all have a responsibility to keep each other and all road users safe on our roadways. 

If we can reach just one person, it will profoundly save a life. 

We want to mitigate the opportunity to inflict this type of horrific emotional pain on anyone due to poor driving habits.

We all have the opportunity to be safe, mindful drivers if we choose. When we choose safety over risky behavior we save lives. 

We can all be unintentional violators and take a life at any moment. We are the ones who can stop this type of behavior.

I am pleading with you on this Father’s Day and every day to be mindful while driving so you do not take someone else’s son-shine away. 

Bud Wandall, Marks Dad

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