In 1971, a drinking driver with a BAC of .08 percent rear-ended the family car carrying Millie, her husband, Roy, their 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Lori, and 19-month-old nephew, Mitchell Pewitt, Jr. Millie, who was seven months pregnant at the time, suffered a broken neck and was burned on nearly 75 percent of her body. Roy also suffered severe burns while attempting to extinguish the flames that engulfed Millie, Lori and Mitchell with his bare hands. Mitchell lived for six hours, while little Lori suffered for two weeks before dying from burns covering 75 percent of her body. Kara, Millie’s baby, was born prematurely and legally blind as a result of the crash. Five years later, Roy and Millie were blessed with another child, Ashlea. Through her work with MADD, Millie learned to turn her physical and emotional scars into stars that would help light the path for others who were going through the same pain she had once endured.
Millie became a long-time activist as she ushered in the new millennium and her term as national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) by kicking off the organization’s 20th anniversary year in 2000. She served as National President from January 1, 2000 to June 30, 2002. Commemorating the estimate 183,000 lives saved since MADD’s inception, the organization’s anniversary culminated with a rally outside the U.S. Capitol where Millie and 600 drunk driving victims and activists called on Congress to lower the drunk driving limit to .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in every state. Shortly after the memorable occasion, Millie realized the historical, yet personal, milestone.
Today, Millie continues to volunteer for MADD serving as the Chair of the MADD Tennessee State Advisory Board Victim Services Committee. Millie walks for MADD so that other families will never experience the tragedy that her family has had to face. Millie has spent so many years selflessly serving MADD, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. In 2018 Millie’s team was the highest fundraisers at the Middle TN WLM event in Nashville raising over $4,000. Millie always says “You can’t argue with the Mission of MADD. And I’ll do whatever I can do to help with that Mission and that is why we walk. We will always remember those we love and celebrate them as a big MADD family together.”
Everyone should attend a Walk Like MADD to raise awareness and help us make a difference, so no other family has to endure this senseless and preventable tragedy of drunk driving. Join MADD Tennessee at the Nashville Walk Like MADD on October 19, 2019. Will you walk to create a future of No More Victims? Click here for more information.
Millie and Roy live in Franklin, Tennessee, with their daughter Ashlea nearby in Nashville. Millie’s daughter, Kara Webb Hensel, her husband, David Hensel, and their two sons, Collin and Caston, reside in Spring Hill, TN..