Norman Family Starts 'Operation Cadence' Targeting Impaired Drivers
NORMAN, Oklahoma - A family continues to mourn the loss of 8-year old Cadence Gordon who was killed in a crash, Labor Day of 2013.
Since that time, Gordon’s family has worked with the Norman Police Department to create awareness in the community about the impact of impaired driving.
“She's gone. It was a decision someone made, a wrong decision to get behind a wheel, when they were impaired,” says Cadence Grandfather, James Hughes.
Cadence would have been 13 this year.
Following the crash, Kimberly Wenthold was blamed for her death.
Investigators say Wenthold was driving a vehicle under the influence of Xanax.
Out of respect of Cadence, various police departments patrol Oklahoma on various holiday weekends to prevent further deaths.
So far, Norman Police report making contact with 1,085 drivers.
“She took my granddaughter away from me, and that can never be replaced,” says Cadence Grandmother, Charlene Hughes.
Charlene was the target of another crash in May of 2018. She says she was crossing the road to get her mail when she was struck by a vehicle that sped off.
Police say the driver involved in the hit-and-run is Misti Dawn Miller, who has been charged in the crime. Miller has a history of criminal activity, including a previous hit-and-run according to court documents.
Charlene was severely injured and left on the side of the road.
“I've broken their expectations. I still have a long way to go,” says Charlene Hughes.
Being hit twice by tragedy, the family says enough is enough.
They ask others to consider the value of life before getting behind the wheel.
“It's broken lives. It's lives that are forever in disrepair,” says James Hughes.
Because of her criminal record, Miller could face more time in jail if she is found guilty.
As for Kimberly Wenthold, she was originally sent to prison for 25 years.
Recently, she's asked for a judicial review of that sentence.
Those court documents quote Wenthold as saying, “The car accident that took the life of Cadence has led her to thoroughly re-examine her own.”