The Simmons family has been grappling with the devastating aftermath of a drunk driving incident that completely upended their once normal lives. By sharing a heart-wrenching video on TikTok, the family hopes to shed light on the unimaginable tragedy they experienced.
The video commences with the text overlay, “Watch how a drunk driver changed our lives in an instant.” It portrays Dawn Simmons, the mother, embracing her son Christopher while sitting on a chair, followed by a snapshot of her daughter Lindy striking a pose. Furthermore, the footage captures the mother engaging in everyday activities, such as shopping with her youngest daughter Kamryn at Walmart.
Subsequently, the video transitions to flashing sirens and a headline reading, “Driver who killed La. siblings was 3 times over the legal limit for alcohol, authorities say.” Since its posting, the heart-wrenching video has amassed over 33 million views, accompanied by the caption, “Grief is love with nowhere to go. On December 17, 2021, at 9:00 pm, our lives were full of joy and normalcy. At 9:01, that was gone. The decision of one man changed so many lives. He can’t take it back. It’s permanent. What could be worth this? Three lives were stolen and countless others forever changed.”
The family’s vehicle was struck by a pickup truck, tragically claiming the lives of Lindy, Christopher, and Kamryn. Dawn and Christopher’s girlfriend, Marissa, were also present in the car and sustained severe injuries but survived the crash. The driver responsible for the collision, John Lundy, tragically perished at the scene. The family had been eagerly anticipating celebrating Christmas together, as Lindy was visiting home from college, and Christopher and Kamryn had a half-day at school. Dawn had taken time off from work to attend her son’s basketball game in Monroe, Louisiana, where she enthusiastically cheered him on.
Dawn shared her harrowing account with TODAY, revealing, “After the game, the kids were hungry and so we stopped at Subway to eat. That’s the last thing I remember. I had an empty nest overnight.” The grieving mother disclosed that her late children’s bedrooms remain untouched since their untimely passing, exactly as they left them. Reflecting on Lindy, she shared that her daughter had secured her dream job as a campus photographer at Nicholls State University, where she was a sophomore.
According to Dawn, Christopher, an accomplished athlete, was poised to become his class valedictorian and graduate from high school this year. Tragically, Kamryn’s life was cut short a mere 41 days before her 16th birthday. Dawn reminisced, “She was counting down the days to get her driver’s license. She was so excited. We spent so much time in the car practicing. She would put her little playlist in and she’d sing and sing and sing. Kamryn had the most beautiful voice.” Dawn and her husband, Ray Simmons, are parents to six more children: Ren, Katie, Shea, Rhett, Carly, and Kyle.
The weight of her grief is overwhelming and unrelenting for Dawn, who describes it as “exhausting.” She explained, “I’ll see the foods I used to buy for them—and that will trigger a memory. Everywhere I go, there are reminders of them.” In memory of their lost loved ones, Dawn and her daughter Katie have initiated a nonprofit called Simmons3. They visit schools and share their story, leaving a profound impact on the students who find themselves relating to Christopher, Lindy, and Kamryn. Katie remarked, “You can hear a pin drop in those auditoriums. These kids see themselves in Christopher, Lindy, and Kamryn. That’s what makes it so impactful.”
Dawn expressed the sentiment that the family she once had—a family consisting of a mother, father, and nine children—has ceased to exist. She fervently hopes that no one else will ever have to endure the excruciating pain they have experienced. In their efforts to ensure their lost loved ones are never forgotten, Dawn and Katie plan to continue sharing videos about Simmons3. Katie emphasized, “What happened was senseless, selfish, and preventable. If it weren’t for my faith, I don’t think I’d be able to survive this.”