CRIME

Man Warns Against Drunk Driving After Alleged DUI Crash Disables Him

Feb 14, 2019, 12:56 AM | Updated: 12:56 am

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — They were on their way to take pregnancy photos on a January day in Weber County when a crash with an alleged drunk driver changed their lives forever.

Now, the couple hopes their story underscores just how devastating it can be to drink and drive.

Michael Clabaugh has no feeling but physical pain and is largely paralyzed below the neck. Only some slight movement in his arms and legs is what gives him hope of ever being able to gain control over his limbs again.

“Right now I’m squeezing with everything that I have in my stomach and in my legs — just to try to let her know that I’m trying to feel her hand,” an emotional Clabaugh said of his fiancée, Mirinda Taylor, as he laid in his bed at Northern Utah Rehabilitation Hospital in South Ogden. Taylor held his limp hand, feeling no pressure that would indicate a grip.

“It was the most scary, most frightening moment of my life,” Taylor said of the collision that put Clabaugh in that state.

On Jan. 19, the couple stopped at a gas station at 5500 S. 5500 W. in Hooper on their way to take photos of Taylor, who was 8-months pregnant at the time.

“I heard my wife say three times, ‘oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,’ and I get out of the car to find out what’s wrong with her and I get plowed by a car,” Clabaugh said.

Court records show the driver of the vehicle that struck Clabaugh along with two parked cars had been reported as driving “erratically and recklessly” in the area prior to the crash.

A probable cause statement said 46-year-old Terisa Lynn Brandewie subsequently admitted to drinking the equivalent of a 12-pack of beer that day along with an unspecified amount of vodka.

The document said an empty bottle of vodka and prescription medications were found in Brandewie’s car.

Brandewie was charged Feb. 4, with 3rd-degree felony driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and class B misdemeanor accident involving property damage with knowledge of accident.

“I wonder what she knows,” Taylor questioned. “Does she know? Does she know how badly she’s hurt somebody?”

Clabaugh, who enjoyed photographing nature and the loved ones around him, is now resigned to simply peering out a window next to his hospital bed.

“I can’t talk about it — it’s just hard,” Clabaugh said, choking up.

“To face that you’re not holding a camera?” Taylor questioned.

“That I can’t capture the beauty that I see from you, from life and everything — it just sucks,” Clabaugh replied.

Clabaugh said he dreamed of the day he could hold his newborn baby, Rarity Anne, who is due in March.

Now, he tries to find optimism in thinking about how he’ll teach his daughter to forgive the woman accused of hitting and severely injuring him.

“The only thing that keeps me so positive is that I have to teach my daughter forgiveness,” Clabaugh said. “She has to find forgiveness in her heart for the woman that has caused this to her dad.”

Clabaugh said he still hoped for a serious legal consequence for the woman.

Brandewie is scheduled for an initial appearance on Feb. 27.

The couple has a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.

For now, they are hoping Clabaugh somehow regains more feeling and movement in his extremities.

“There’s going to be a lot of tears, going to be a lot of anger, frustration,” Clabaugh said. “I just hope it’s all OK.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Crime

Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez, in 2015..
(Courtesy: West Valley City Police) Department...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

Fugitive charged with 2015 killing of West Valley woman arrested

A man who was charged with murder in the killing of a West Valley woman in 2015 has been arrested after seven years on the run.
2 days ago
LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 17: The Boogaloo Boys holds a rifle at a rally at the Capitol Building on Oct...
ED WHITE, Associated Press

EXPLAINER: 3 more on trial in Michigan governor kidnap plot

A scheme to kidnap Michigan’s governor in 2020 will get yet another airing in court.
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO - (Deseret News)...
Associated Press

Hundreds of cars pack Nevada streets for illegal stunts

Police in northern Nevada say thousands of people in hundreds of cars took over parking lots and intersections Friday night.
3 days ago
Jeremy Hauck appears in a Farmington court, Dec. 13, 2007. Hauck was found not guilty by reason of ...
Kaitlyn Bancroft, KSL.com and Shara Park, KSL TV

Utah man who shot mother, slit her throat in 2006 seeks release from state hospital

A judge will spend several weeks considering whether a Utah State Hospital patient who killed his mother in 2006 will be released. The court heard almost seven hours of testimony on Friday from doctors, social workers and others.
4 days ago
SL County Sheriff Rosie Rivera John Patterson...
Jed Boal

Three in Salt Lake County given awards by sheriff’s association

Salt Lake County Sherriff‘s Office received awards last week from the Utah Sheriffs’ Association for the excellent leadership they show in their jobs.
5 days ago
FILE PHOTO...
Brooke Williams

Attempted kidnapping near Utah junior high has school, police warning parents

Attempted kidnapping in Taylorsville near junior high school is being investigated.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Man Warns Against Drunk Driving After Alleged DUI Crash Disables Him