Florida mother shares story of grief, forgiveness over daughter lost to drunk driving

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Renee Napier remembers May 11th, 2002 as the day her life felt like it was spiraling out of control.

“I didn’t know how I could even breathe without one of my children,” she said, reflecting on the night when she received the news that her daughter, Meagan, and Meagan’s friend, Lisa Dixon, were killed by a drunk driver.

Eric Smallridge was 24 years old at the time of the accident, and in 2003, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for DUI manslaughter, to be served consecutively, in the deaths of Meagan and Lisa.

“I could see him sitting right off to my left, and I felt like he was angry and I felt like him pleading not guilty was wrong,” Napier remembers about the trial. “He didn’t want to accept that he had been responsible for taking the lives of two girls.”

At the sentencing…

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