Bill Downs was born and raised in south Mississippi, where he met and married his wife Julie in 1982. God blessed them with two children, Cynthia and Brad. Bill is twice retired, first from the Air National Guard in 2006 and then from the Gulfport City School District in 2015. His wife Julie is self-employed, and also cares for their handicapped daughter, Cynthia. In 2007 when their son Brad, his wife, Samantha, and Chris, a young man they loved as a son, were killed by a drunk driver. After the kids’ death Bill and Julie’s focus turned to advocating and supporting victims of impaired driving. Bill is president and cofounder of AVIDD, (Advocates for Victims of Impaired/Distracted Driving), a nonprofit organization. Bill is also an administrator of four online support groups for victims, and hosts an educational class called AVIDD Voices, where victims share stories with offenders who are court-ordered to attend. Bill recently co-authored Grief Diaries Loss by Impaired Driving and Grief Diaries Shattered with his wife Julie and renowned author and publisher, Lynda Cheldelin Fell. Bill is dedicated to the fight against impaired and distracted driving, and hopes one day to see an end to this preventable crime that is the only socially acceptable form of homicide. Bill is the Voice of the Victims.
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