Hillsborough father recalls pain of losing son to drunk, wrong-way driver

Family childhood photos of William Angel.
Wade Angel looks at a memory book that has photo of his son, who was killed by a drunk driver.
Wade Angel looks at a memory book that has photo of his son, who was killed by a drunk driver.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A man whose son was killed by a drunk, wrong-way driver is asking people to not drive while they’re impaired.

His request comes after another wrong-way crash in Hillsborough County. The most recent wrong-way crash happened on Wednesday morning along Hillsborough Avenue, just west of 56th street. A white Dodge Charger crossed-over into the opposite lane of traffic and hit a minivan head-on. Investigators suspect the wrong-way driver had been drinking. Both drivers were hurt.

This crash brought back painful memories for a Wesley Chapel father.  An ornament on a tree and pictures in a book. That’s all Wade Angel has left to remember his son by.

“We don’t even have Christmas here. We go somewhere else,” said Angel.

His son, William Angel was killed by a drunk driver in a wrong-way crash in 2012. He was just 20 years old.

“William was a very giving person, he always thought about the other guy,” said Wade Angel about his son.

This holiday season, Wade wants you to think about “that other guy” before you drink and drive.

“Their actions can permanently affect the lives of someone else.”

The accused killer of Wade’s son, Christopher Ponce, has permanently damaged the Angel family.

“It doesn’t change, you just get used to it. It’s terrible to say but it doesn’t change anything.”

But, you can change the stats of how many people die on our roads. Last year alone, 66 people died in Hillsborough County from impaired driving.

“This is an intentional act, this drinking and driving.”

So, this holiday season Wade asks that you not drive while under the influence of alcohol because you don’t want to know what it’s like to only have a memory book to look at.

“I’ll  never close this book on William. But, I want justice for William.”

Christopher Ponce, the accused drunk driver, cut off his ankle bracelet and left the country for a few years after the crash. He was just found in August and the family is waiting for him to come back here after running away to Spain.

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