“My Life Sentence”
My name is Vernon Hilyer aka: Brandon’s Dad. I share a true life story about my son’s fight with alcohol and the effects his choices had on everyone who knew and loved him. My son Brandon was an outstanding all-American kid that was full of life, but alcohol impaired his control and eventually robbed him of life. N
May 2 Jefferson County Adult DUI class
May 6 United High School – Indiana County
May 9 AC Valley High School – Clarion County
May 10 Slippery Rock High School – Butler County
May 11 9am Clarion-Venango United Methodist Women- Franklin District, Knox PA
May 11 Oil City High School – Venango County
‘Safe Driving Awareness’ Impacts Students
Vernon Hilyer of Clarion shares his “life sentence” to West Shamokin High School teenagers Friday afternoon during the annual “Safe Driving Awareness Day.” Hilyer’s 21-year-old son, Brandon, died after driving drunk in September 2008.
By Jonathan Weaver
Vernon Hilyer doesn’t
Presently 25,000 people are killed each year in alcohol related accidents.
One American life is lost every 30 minutes in alcohol related auto crashes.
It is estimated that one out of every two Americans will be involved in an alcohol related accident in his or her lifetime.
You can help me keep this effort going $1 at a time. You can either click the donate button or click buy now button to purchase a Frisbee. Every Dollar is used for prevention and greatly appreciated.Read More
• Alcohol is a factor in almost half of all traffic fatalities
• Every other minute a person is seriously injured in an alcohol related crash
• Teenage drivers are at a higher risk to be involved in a drinking and driving accident
• At the point when you have reached a six pack, your chances of being in a drunk driving accident are up to 44%.
My name is Vernon Hilyer aka: Brandon’s Dad. I share a true life story about my son’s fight with alcohol and the effects his choices had on everyone who knew and loved him. My son Brandon was an outstanding all-American kid that was full of life, but alcohol impaired his control and eventually robbed him of life. Now I serve a "Life Sentence" due to his drinking and driving. My Life Sentence is not one behind bars but a life full of sadness and emptiness. I share many things about his drinking world, both in high school and in college that most can relate to. My true-life story has had a life changing effect on many people. As you look through this site, think to yourself how this will impact your students. Working together we can save one more life.
If you are interested in my program and would like to help me impact more lives by delivering a presentation to your group or organization, or if you would just simply like to get more information click here to contact me.
Some key quotes from my presentations:
And not only how it effects you, but how it effects everyone around you..Forever
If a Police officer pulls you over for suspicion of DUI, You need to
thank them for possibly saving your life.
It's a phase; Most kids grow out of it,
Brandon will never see 22.
Think of your Mom and Dad,
What will they do when the police knock on their door?
Once Alcohol becomes important to you, it becomes important to have
The bar tender said, "When he left the bar he was fine." She was
the last one to see him alive.
We headed home to make arraignments to bury my son, my Drunk Driver
It was 8:00 in the morning and our lives have changed forever.
Please don't Drink, and definitely don't Drink and Drive.
If you did like to stay updated with all our latest news please enter your e-mail address here
Maybe they are starting to take DUi serious as it should be. These boys may not have been driving as fast of operating a big heavy automobile but they were still doing a very dangerous thing that could have resulted in a death of anyone in the area. Thanks PSP for keeping our highways safe and our families alive.
Just a reminder: The allowed BAC. by Anyone of Any age operating an off road vehicle including Snowmobiles, 4 wheelers ect, is ZORO (.000)
Please, Do Not DRINK AND Drive.
Bonnie Herb Weikel Amish also need to use their brains for more than holding a hat on their heads about a vehicles ability to safely pass them. Their should be a rules of the road book made for Amish. Here is rule #1- Don't bother pulling halfway off the road for a vehicle to pass you on an up coming blind turn and then shoot pissy looks when the vehicle doesn't pass.
August 18, 2016 at 7:12 pm1
August 18, 2016 at 7:14 pm1
Brandons Dad You are right Bonnie
August 18, 2016 at 7:14 pm
In todays Clarion News Police and court reports there were 7 people cited for DUI. 1 crash and 6 were stopped by the police before they hurt themselves or someone else. Before you Drink and Drive, please plan ahead and Do Not do it. It could not only save you a lot of money, your job, or your insurance it saves lives. Please make the right choice. If not for you kids, how about your parents?
I am amazed by how many people in the area still don't get the fact that Driving Under the Influence can kill you or some one esle you don't even know.
It's funny how I zero in on DUI news in the paper. In todays Leader Vindicator (from New Bethlehem) there are 6 articles about people being cited for DUI. One was for substance, 5 were alcohol. 4 were stopped by the Police because of the great job they do and 2 were crashes.
Now lets suppose those officers hadn't stopped the other 4. Would someone have died because of their bad choice? Gives you something to think about I hope.
Please, in memory of my son Brandon and the sadness it brings to those who care about you, Please Don't Drink and Drive. ~Brandon's Dad~
Brandons Dad shared Cornerstone of Recovery's photo.
Brandons Dad added 18 new photos to the album: Friday Evening at the Clarion County Fair.
Was a great evening for prevention. Hopefully next year we can have a spot in the busy part of the grounds. Many people were grateful to their teens try the experience and learn about how Drinking and Driving can change everything Forever.
Billie Jo Holibaugh Awesome!
July 30, 2016 at 11:10 pm1
Dorsel Burgess, Realtor Good post!
August 9, 2016 at 2:00 am1
Brandons Dad shared Clarion Drug Free Coalition (CDFC)'s photo.
As being part of this group I also want you to share this message. It could help to save a life. Maybe even a friend or family member of yours needs to know this. It is Everywhere. Any age any one can become an addict.
Do you suppose he would have done this sober. Surely not. Don't let Alcohol help you to make bad choices. I am sure you have heard the saying nothing good come out of drinking, especailly drinking heavily. Rememeber, plan ahead. If you are planning on drinking, have a person promise to stay sober ( and be sure they do ) to get you home safe. Drinking and Driving changes lives of many people. Don't let your family be affected next. Thank You for heloping me make the highways safer. Don't Drink and Drive. ~Brandon's Dad~
Sandra Faleska So sad what alcohol does
July 29, 2016 at 4:39 pm1
Brandons Dad added 2 new photos to the album: Thur evening Claion Fair.
wet rainy evening
Brandons Dad added 4 new photos to the album: Wednesday evening at the Clarion County Fair.
Brandons Dad added a new photo to the album: Tuesday evening at the Clarion Fair.
MaKena Stiller Darren Kriebel Kaylee Kriebel
July 28, 2016 at 3:18 pm2
Darren Kriebel That's Dominick Aughton and me talking
July 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm2
Sara Reed Woah, I saw this and thought it was them
July 28, 2016 at 3:38 pm
Brandons Dad added 5 new photos to the album: Wednesday evening at the Clarion County Fair.
Brandons Dad added 7 new photos to the album: Tuesday evening at the Clarion Fair.
Another great night for DUI Prevention.
Brandons Dad added 2 new photos.
Setting up for the Clarion County Fair Starting on Sunday. Come try the pedal carts at Brandon's Dad DUI Prevention event from Tuesday thru Friday 5-9
Dustin Parsons Where is a pic of the pedal carts
July 23, 2016 at 9:53 pm
Brandons Dad I the previous post. Go to Brandons Dad page and go down 1
July 23, 2016 at 10:48 pm
Brandons Dad added 2 new photos.
Here it is!!! The newest thing from Brandon's Dad.
We will be introducing our newest DUI prevention tool at the Clarion County Fair. Come see us Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday evening between 5:00 - 9:00. We will be located up above the food stands and below the playground. Come check us out. We could also use a couple of volunteers to help any one of those evenings. (or all)(Message me here if you'd like also) Going to be a great Fair.
Also be sure to thank our Big sponsors that really help this happen. IA Construction regional office in Franklin that donated the 50 orange tubes. The Keystone Smiles organization that is loaning us a few pedal cars for the week along with a couple of helpers. The Clarion Hospital Hospital Foundation and Burford & Henry Showcase Homes in Shippenville.
Also thanks to all in the community and those out of the community that have also donated funding to help Brandon's Dad make a difference.
Feel free to share (Please)
Linda Stewart Glad to see you got your orange cones!
July 20, 2016 at 9:57 pm
Heading to Brookville this evening. Will be speaking with the DUI offenders at Jefferson County adult probation DUI class. Lets hope that my record stands and at least one person tonight will have a change of heart and never Drink and Drive again. :)
Raggs Staley After hearing your story and seeing your slide show I hope to God that you got to more than just 1. I think what you are doing is awesome. I don't drink anymore however when I did, I drank alot every day, and all my friends would always say "you drive cuz you're a good drunk driver " ! When I think about that today I think wow we were idiots. Ya know when you have a problem with booze it never goes away. Maybe it's a song maybe it's a scent, maybe it's a season that, even after not drinking for 5 years, you think I could have 1. Well think again cuz if you have had problems with alcohol 1 is not enough. I slipped up a few months ago and was just gonna have 1 while cleaning with a friend well after that 1 I also had a 1/2 gallon of Long Island ice tea. Thank God I must have a guardian angel cuz I made it home safely and I haven't drank since. Alcoholism is a horrible disease, some can beat those demons, some can't. Every morning when you open your eyes those demons are calling your name and you have to be strong enough to tell them "NOT TODAY!". I have told my 2 kids 1000 times and counting that if they are drinking or their friends are, I'm just a phone call away anytime day or night. I'm very open and honest and upfront with my kids so I pray to God that if in that situation they make that phone call. Thank you for everything you do to try and help others. High Five!
July 19, 2016 at 4:49 am2
Brandons Dad Thank you Raggs. I appreciate that. Please continue to fight that demond because you are right, it never will go away and the day you slip up again could be the day it gets you. (or someone else because of you) 5 years is a long time and I understand we a slip up in onn way or another. Good luck in your fight and I am on your side. Thanks again, Vernon.
July 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm1
Raggs Staley I just wanted to thank you again for all you do. You are an amazing person inside and out. It's gotta be so hard to do what you do. You relive that night everyday 😢! I want you to know that you definitely opened my eyes and my daughters. My daughter is a hardass and doesn't show much emotion. She just recently lost a friend to drugs and alcohol. Not drunk driving, just didn't understand that benzos and alcohol is a deadly combo. When they told my baby girl, who is 17 BTW, what happened and that he was dead she cried and cried. That hurts seeing your children in pain. Myself, I've lost several good friends to booze and heroine when I was younger and now I'm watching my baby deal with the same. I do believe deep down inside my heart that she will not drink and drive or ride with anyone who is. I also believe that she isn't going to be a drug user. She is a gifted / high honors student. She has a good head on her shoulders and she uses it ( most of the time however she is a blonde lol) we were there cuz her and her friend furnished alcohol to classmates who were supposed to be going to the one boys house after the dance to drink. Well they brought it to the dance😠! My daughter and her friend were not drinking, as soon as they saw that the boys had it they left the dance. The really sad part about this is the boys who were drinking did not get charged with anything because of their last name ( a doctors son) so unfortunately they did not get to see and hear your story, and they should have. I have alot of things to say about this but I'm just gonna refer to the Affluenza boy. Money talks. Ill tell ya something...i would rather my kids smoked weed instead of drinking cuz weed doesn't make you feel invincible or drive fast or blur your vision. It makes you lay back relax order some pizza and go to sleep. I know they say it's the gateway drug, tell good old Willie Nelson that. I think it should be legal and alcohol should be very much illegal but I'm a nobody and that's just my opinion. BTW today at work I told everyone about your story. Their hearts go out to you. Thank you again!
July 19, 2016 at 11:13 pm
Brandons Dad Wow. That is so much I just don't know where to start other then just say Thanks.
July 20, 2016 at 1:24 am1
Brandons Dad I do agree that money does buy lots of kids out of their troubles. If your daughter bought the alcohol for these Affluenza kids, how did she do that underabe? It all stinks for kids underage. Somethng I talk about in the schools is their brains are still growing till age 27 - 28 and alcohol destroys those cells as they are growing. There is so much to learn and I am learning still myself
July 20, 2016 at 1:28 am1
Raggs Staley I apologize...when I get on a roll I can't stop. One subject leads to another and so on. My daughter and her friend got the alcohol from the friends mother. Crazy situation. I actually have a really good friend who got out of prison in November 2015 for drinking and getting biligerent and violent basically being a douche bag lol I can call him that cuz I tell him that to his face. However he also has a history of mental illness in his family. His father and uncle both died in a mental hospital. He has several cousins who are in and out of the mental hospital. I've talked with him about this several times. When Jason drinks he is a different person I can see it, I can tell just by talking with him on the phone cuz his voice sounds different and he says bizzare things and he has hallucination. He was doing so well. He wasn't drinking and he said " I have no desire to drink right now. I can't say that I'll always feel this way" then on Memorial Day weekend he got a ride in town and got a 5th of vodka and drank it within 1 1/2 hours. Mind you I didn't know he did this, then he called me and was scared he was asking me to please come help him. I have a low tolerance for bullshit and I yelled at him cuz I called him out on his drinking. He kept denying it. I told him I would see him in the morning when he sobered up cuz I was pissed. He was doing so well. Then his sister called me, he was released from prison to her and was still living with her and her family. She proceeded to tell me that Jason beat the shit out of her daughters one friend. Then he was hiding in his room screaming to get these people away from him and he was alone. It was a horrible night for his sister and family cuz they were afraid if they went to sleep bad shit would go on. So she sent her daughters away to friends houses just in case he got violent again. The next morning he called me crying and begged me to come get him cuz he was going crazy in his head and he was afraid of what may happen. So I go get him, alot of people were afraid of him cuz hes crazy and doesn't care about the consequences but I have never been afraid of him cuz I just know he would never hurt me. He has always protected me and would do anything for me. I let him stay with me for 3 days and on the 3rd day I had appointments & work so I was gonna be gone all day so I told him he needed to find something to do. So he went to visit his kids then went to his AA meeting. I didn't want him in my house with my kids without me. Just being cautious. When I got home I sent him a text and asked where he was and his reply was " under a bridge in another realm" so I told him he could stay there and I would see him the next day. Well the next day around 3 his sister called me to let me know that Jason got picked up by the police. He was passed out in Harmon field (kids play ground) apparently he started yelling at some lady so she called the police. He was wasted plus was doing percocets and subutex and had a subutex in his pocket. I spoke to the arresting officer and he told me what he was on and what he had on him and they originally thought he was dead cuz they were trying to wake him up and he wasn't responding, then he finally came to. When they asked him his name he told them he was Billy Squire then proceeded to attack the officer. So now he will be in prison for this idiotic behavior and since he had 5 years of state parole he will spend that time in prison. So he's looking at approximately 8 to 10 more years. I am so pissed at him. I would love to knock the shit out of him. But on the other hand I feel bad for him because he is sick. I don't think prison is what he needs at this point. I believe he needs in a high security mental facility. I tried to visit him on Sunday and he was in the hole. That's where he spends most of his time. Me and a good friend of ours tried to make him act right but alcoholism is stronger than anything we could have said or did. He makes me so angry cuz he is a very intelligent person but his disease overpowers his mind. He always would say that we were soulmates(in the friend sense)and that I was his best friend and always will be. He is 43 and has been in jail /prison for approximately 20 of those years on and off. But this time I really thought he was gonna get it together. All the other times I knew he would be going back. The dumbass knows that I can't go see him that often cuz its a drive and half the time he is in the hole and not allowed visitors. I guess this is how it's gonna be forever with him.
July 20, 2016 at 2:42 am
Brandons Dad Yep. That sucks for him.
July 20, 2016 at 3:15 am
Tiffani Holmes I was at this class that you spoke at, I was with a friend who had the DUI, I didn't get time to speak to you afterwards but your story was very touching to me. I just want to start off with saying that I am very sorry for your loss, I never lost any of my children to it but I have lost a couple of family members, Ive lost brothers and an uncle because of their drinking and driving I think what you are doing is wonderful and very inspiring and you are sending a very powerful message. Never stop doing what you are doing because you may solely be the reason that someone doesn't lose their life or a loved one just by your words!
July 20, 2016 at 5:02 am1
Brandons Dad Thank you Tiffani. I appreciate that. It is sad that you also lost family members because of the monster we know as alcohol. That you for coming as a friend on Monday night. My is truely what you said. If only one persoon or one family is spared from Brandon's story, it is worth me telling over and over. It is tought to do somotimes but very well worth it in the end. Thanks again!
July 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm
Derek Sutphin Prayers.
July 25, 2016 at 12:46 am
So here we have a prime example of a poor choice to Drive while under the Influence of something. DUI suspicion does not say Alcohol, it could be anything that changes his driving ability to handle his vehicle. The fact is, he ended up driving down the sidewalk and could have killed many innocent people because of his choice to drive. If you are drinking, make the safe choice and never Drink and Drive
Emmy Jones Keep up the good word Brandons Dad if you save one life that's one family that doesn't bury a loved one.
July 14, 2016 at 5:36 pm1
Bruce A Mills SC Trooper told me last week alcohol DWI is way down where pills n over drug driving is off the chart n what makes it worse yes we have always had the few drunks driving at all hours there are far more drugged drivers on the road at peak driving times
July 14, 2016 at 8:02 pm
Faith Capretti Only wish Everyone would listen! 😔💓
July 14, 2016 at 10:50 pm1
Heading in to Clarion for another Hot evening in a probation class. Adult DUI probation that is. Hopefully tonight I will alter the future a little. I am looking to change someones life enough that they never consider Driving under the Influence of Alcohol again. Going to be a great evening, hot or not.
Paula Renee Kiffner Park Prayers for open minds and hearts.
July 14, 2016 at 1:28 am1
Amanda Everett You definitely influenced my life, Vern. Don't give up. You're changing lives. ♡
July 14, 2016 at 1:47 am1
Today is #PrimeDay! #StartWithaSmile and @Amazon donates to Brandons Dad. Go to http://smile.amazon.com/gp/charity/homepage.html?orig=%2Fgp%2Fbrowse.html%3Fnode%3D11448061011&ein=37-1661900
This not only works today in it's Big way today but everytime you use Smile.amazon and choose Brandons Dad they will donate a small percentage to the organization. Every time you shop. Please Share with Everybody.
Out for a few drinks? Maybe you will never get to see your family at home for a long time if you drink and drive. Maybe you'll kill someone on your way home and spend a Long tme in jail for it. Please Don't Drink and Drive ~Brandon's Dad~
Brandons Dad shared WTEN's post.
Some don't see this as a problem. Alcohol allows you to do some pretty Dumb stuff.
Heading to St Marys, Elk County, this afternoon to speak with the transisional kids at Pentz Run Youth Services. The group will be smaller but it one student walks away with a better reason to think about the choice they will have to make, then it is worth every minute of my time. Going to be another graet day.
Katlynn Garren You trully are an amazing person and I'm so thankful you came to Oil City Senior High School this year. You've made me realize a lot. I'm done with school, I graduated and not a minute goes by that I don't think about what you've said.. thank you for sharing your story with us
July 1, 2016 at 1:14 am
Brandons Dad Wow, Thank You Katlynn. That means a lot to me. I hope Brandon's story stays with you and always helps you to make safe choices Your family really needs you. Help your friends to also continue to make better choices as you grow thru life. Good Luck in all that comes your way. Thanks Again. You just made my day a little brighter! :)
July 1, 2016 at 1:41 am1
Katlynn Garren Your so very welcome.
July 1, 2016 at 1:43 am1
Brandons Dad shared Gareth Cliff's album.
As I am known to share the message on addiction when I talk prevention, I truely want to help the young crowd to make better choices when it comes to not only Drinking and Driving but more importantly the choice to not drink at all which can lead to drug use later in life.
I make the comment, Whan you see those people who are addicted to drugs with blisters on their face, Do think they wanted to end up that way?
It is a choice that can start with the decision to take that first drink.
Remember if you drink and drive, you never know who's life you may change forever. Including yours. Please make the smart choice.
Don't Drink and Drive
Bruce A Mills Isn't Meth n bath salts worth it
June 29, 2016 at 11:43 pm
Brandons Dad Yea. does wonders for your complection
June 30, 2016 at 1:21 am1
Brandons Dad added 2 new photos.
Just a little info for those who really don't know how much alcohol they are consuming.
If you are celebrating this 4th of July weekend with alcohol, do not encourage underage drinking and Please, Do Not Drink and Drive.
Please help me to share this information. It could not only save a life, it could even save yours from being the victim.
Connie Holibaugh Hanold sharing !
June 30, 2016 at 1:31 am1
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