Search This Site
Help Support us
Michael Holliday's Story
Written by Michael Holliday
My Name is Michael Holliday, I am 27 years old and currently serving a 3 1/2 year prison sentence in a Federal Penitentiary, and this is my story.
Most would describe me as a hardworking , dedicated family man, a guy with "his head on his shoulders", this is also how I envision myself when making decisions. Early in my life I knew what I wanted, a well paying job and above all, family. Very shortly after high school all of my dreams were coming to fruition, I realized my girlfriend and high school sweetheart Angie was the girl of my dreams, the one you know without question you will spend the rest of your life with. I also started a position with a company that would later prove to be that well paying job I was looking for.
When I was 21 Angie gave birth to our first son, the emotions I felt that morning are indescribable but for those of you who have children know exactly what I mean. That parental instinct immediately kicks in, you have a whole new outlook and purpose in life and I loved it. I made it my priority to change my son's first diaper (along with an equal share of the thousands of future ones), carefully warm his bottle and be fully engaged in all the wonderful aspects of parenthood.
Within a couple of years life continued to be fruitful to us. We purchased our first home, a couple of promotions and a second career in real estate almost tripled my income, and most importantly we introduced two more incredible children to our family. We were very fortunate to spend a lot of time together as a family- camping, weekends at the cottage etc. I enjoyed , and nothing was more important to me than being with my children. Everything was coming together better than we ever imagined, until October 26, 2008 when I destroyed it all.
At approximately 4:00 am on Oct 27, 2008 hand-cuffed in a Police Station I was told by a Durham Regional Police Officer that I was under arrest for "Impaired Driving Causing Death". This made no sense, I said to myself " I don't drink and drive, not even after a single beer", but on this night I did.
Oct 26, 2008 started as a normal busy day. We woke up early, had breakfast with the kids, and at 7:30 am I was off to handle some work on a rental house for a client. Around 3:00 pm Angie called to check in and ask if I was interested in spending the night at another couples place so our kids could play with theirs, and after we would watch T.V. I said sure but as I had just been offered a beer from the home owner for the work it would be best if she picked me up.. After getting some dinner we showed up at a friends place around 7:00 pm, we put the kids to bed, watched the hockey game, and had a couple beer and an energy/alcoholic drink as I was feeling tired. It was around 10:00 pm when I don't remember another thing from that evening and woke up in the Police Station. I was there because at approximately 11:30 pm that night I made the inexcusable decision to get in our van and drive.
The result of this was both horrific and catastrophic for many. Within a few blocks I hit another vehicle and caused the death of an innocent woman, Patricia Gostlin. The decision I made to get behind the wheel while impaired destroyed two families, and life for either will never be the same. Patricia was very close to and loved by her family, friends and many others. I first and foremost give my deepest and most sincere apologies to them.
All the wonderful things in my family's life were also taken. The seven year career I had built and the home where we made all our dreams were gone. The most upsetting consequence was that I was torn away from Angie and our kids. They are the most precious and greatest part of my life. Everyday I recall the memories of holding them when they were first born, taking their first step, teaching them to ride a bike, and especially receiving a random hug. Today however I sit in a prison cell, I don't see my kids at all, they are without a dad to teach them new skills, take them to the park, look under the bed when they have a bad dream or kiss them goodnight. Angie is an incredible support and comes to visit as often as possible, but there are no family dinners, trips to the zoo or simple snuggling to a movie. The penalties are endless. Our family has been torn apart and the responsibility lies solely on me because of what can simply be called a stupid decision.
I quickly realized too that the consequences don't ever pass either, everyday I think of the damage I have caused everyone. No mater how much I wish I could change what I did, It will not bring back Patricia back to her family, it will not reunite me with my wife and kids,
and it will not take away the pain I feel in my heart, head and entire body. I can't change what I did and it is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life, which truly is in the judge's words "a life sentence in itself"
I am hopeful that the consequences of impaired or any unsafe driving practices are evidently clear to those who read this. What I have described above is only the beginning of a truly horrific experience. I ask you all to never risk destroying families, plan ahead, and this includes managing how much you drink, because you may not intend to drive home drunk, but the decisions you make while impaired are just that - Impaired.