A woman’s heartbreaking post reliving the tale of how an alcohol-related car accident took the lives of her husband and infant son is taking the Internet by storm.
Now, she's hoping the note will help reduce the number of alcohol-related injuries and deaths.
"I never expected it to go viral, but it's nice to know you're making a difference so maybe nobody else has to experience this," Destiny Mantia of Winfield, Missouri, told ABC News. "Imagine if we had one person to stop someone from getting into that car. Just think if someone did that at every party. The amount of drunk driving accidents would be cut immensely."
Mantia, 22, said she met her husband, Corey, when the two were in 10th-grade at a high school football game.
"I was 15 and he was 16," she said. "He was super funny and caring and would always help anyone who needed it. We had talked non-stop. There wasn't a day where we weren't together. We did everything together."
Three years later, the young couple married and Mantia gave birth to a baby boy, Parker Lee, June 23, 2013.
Then, on the early evening of Sept. 20, 2014, Mantia said, Corey and 15-month-old Parker were driving her across town for an appointment when a motorist hit the driver's side of their silver minivan.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol noted in its traffic crash records that the Sept. 20 accident connected to Mantia's family involved alcohol as a contributing factor in the crash, on the part of the other driver.
Baby Parker died at the scene, whereas dad Corey, after fighting for his life for almost 24 hours, died less than a day later.
Mantia was the sole survivor of the crash in which the woman who hit them also died.
"I grieve for Corey, I needed him," Mantia said. "I needed him to tell me 'Everything is going to be OK.' After I realized there was nothing I could do to bring them back is when I grieved Parker. It's almost unimaginable at times with birthdays and holidays, with Halloween coming up.”
Mantia said she suffered a serious concussion, but recovered in the weeks following the incident.
The woman driving the vehicle that hit the family died at the scene.
Mantia said the driver's family never reached out.
"I wish they would apologize," Mantia said of the driver's family. "She was at a wedding reception, so I feel like there must have been at least 100 people that could've stopped her from driving that night."
On Sunday, exactly one year after the accident, Mantia posted a devastating recap of what happened on the day she lost her family.
The note, which was shared upwards of 49,000 times on Facebook, read in part:
On our way to this wrap appointment my amazing husband whom was driving, my precious baby whom I still nursed and kept rear facing watching Mickey Mouse Club house, and I were struck nearly head on at an excessive speed by a drunk driver. This is a date and time that will forever be embedded in my head. The action of this one selfish person who thought they were "ok" to drive instantly took the life of my sweet innocent 15 month old son in the back seat. She would cause my husband and I to be air lifted from the scene where my husband would loose his fight 24 hours later. She would cause a family to be devastated and emergency personnel to need counseling.
That day the Destiny that was a mom and wife died as well. I've sense had to find myself. I never knew the strength I could pull out that I never knew I had. I think I was able to find this strength through the prayers and support of many friends and family and also an amazing widows group who kept me knowing I was normal for feeling how I felt.
Mantia concluded the post by pleading with others not to drink and drive:
This hurt, pain and our future could of all been prevented if someone would have stepped up and stopped this selfish woman from drinking and driving. You can save someone's life too! Don't allow your friends and family drink and drive. Don't share DUI checkpoints. Be an advocate! Stand up with me! Let's stop this. One is too many. DONT DRINK AND DRIVE!