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Cincinnati, OH — Here’s a story sure to wreck your Christmas Eve a bit. Four people were killed when a minivan carrying a family leaving a Christmas party went the wrong way on the highway and had crashed into another minivan carrying a family on their way to visit family for Christmas.

Early Sunday morning, 40-year-old Joshua Nkansah was driving a minivan down I-75 with his two young children after having left a Christmas party. For reasons unknown, Nkansah did a U-turn and started driving the wrong way on the highway, colliding head-on with another minivan.

The second minivan was carrying Scott and Michele Barhorst, a couple from Tennessee, on their way to visit grandparents for Christmas in St. Marys, Ohio, Along with them wwhere their four children, ages of 8, 11, 9 and 18.

Michele Barhorst, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene, along with Joshua Nkansah and his 7-year-old son, David. Scott Barhorst, 37, would die later at the hospital.

Nkansah’s 4-year-old son, Darius, was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries, along with Tori Barhorst, 8, Logan Barhorst, 11, and Haley Barhorst, 9. Tyler Barhorst, 18, was treated for minor injuries. As of this morning, Logan and Haley were listed in critical condition while Tori was listed in fair condition.

Alcohol looks like it played a role, as investigators say they smelled liquor in Nkansah’s minivan and found a bottle of alcohol in the vehicle. No one in Nkandah’s vehicle were wearing seat belts.

I could go on a long rant on why I, a drinker, loathe drunk drivers. But I’ll just leave you with this, especially since gun related deaths are this month’s hot topic:

In 2011, 9,878 people died in drunk driving crashes, accounting for 31% of all traffic deaths for that year. That same year, 8,583 people were murdered with a gun.

That’s right, while people are screaming for gun control, more people die each year in the US from drunken morons behind the wheel of a vehicle than they do someone with a gun. Those numbers don’t even take into account how many of those gun related murders were fueled by alcohol.

To be fair, both of those numbers have steadily dropped over the last three decades, but both numbers are still way, way too high. Also, if you drive drunk, know that I hate you.

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  • Valerie

    I also hate drunk drivers.

  • Drunk drivers suck. There’s so much bad shit in this world I could rant forever. Horrible shit. Merry Christmas.

  • newstarshipsmell

    I suppose the silver lining is that the drunk moron didn’t survive the accident he caused for a change…

  • sweekymom

    Drunk drivers are beneath contempt.

  • My husband witnessed a car t-bone another last night at the ramp leaving highway I-70 last night. He could see the wreck coming- the guy never even slowed down. I am going to guess alcohol was involved. Luckily, everyone from that wreck was still moving. Many years ago, I- then a humble college freshman- made the mistake of getting in a car with a drunk driver. He was one of those people who drank so much that you really couldn’t tell when he was drunk and when he wasn’t. It was day time, I just needed a ride to pick up some cold medicine, we were only teenagers, he was my boyfriend’s friend… he’d never hurt me, right? Wrong. It was a single car accident. I knew I was going into shock, but couldn’t remember if I was supposed to elevate my head or feet. I started to shake- so painful, I can’t describe, from the shock. Seemed like forever before an ambulance arrived (it was 1986- pre-cell phone days), I told them to take me to St. John’s… I closed my eyes, the shock trousers helped the pain, I thought if I could just go to sleep, it would be ok… the EMT called to the driver- “step it up, we are loosing her! No BP!” My eyes flew open- “Not today, you are not!” It was my blind luck (or divine intervention- your call) that the top trauma surgeon in the region happened to be on-duty at that hospital at that time. The doctors panicked about contacting my parents (again, pre-cell phone), but I feeble-y lifted my head up and cried “I’m 18, let’s get the show on the road!” and off I went to surgery. My sorority sisters lined the hallway as they wheeled the gurney- I looked up at one of them “Guess I don’t need a date to Friday’s dance now, huh?” I took about 5 pints of blood. My 5’9″ self got down to 112 pounds. My right adrenal gland resembled oatmeal, according to the surgeon, and was sent off to pathology. My liver was pretty much bisected. Luckily for me, livers are quite tough organs and they regenerate. I got better. But I have scars- physical ones, and some PTSD (did you know that traffic accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in the US?). And I hate drunk drivers with a withering passion. I was in my 30s before I ever wore a bikini (inspired by my niece, who rocked one despite her heart surgery scars), and I still remember when one of my high school students caught a glimpse of the scar while we were on a school hiking trip. “DAMN, Mrs. G,” he said, “you got SHANKED!” Thanks, Matt! I never had classroom management problems with him again, and he gave me a little perspective on the importance of survival. Here’s my scar set. Here’s why my parent got the call from a hospital ER 2.5 hours away from them saying “We have your daughter; we’ll call you if she makes it out of surgery.” Here’s why you need a f’ing designated driver, a taxi cab, the number to that scooter guy… I have a husband, friends, two adorable children, and some drunk almost took it all away January 21st, 1986.

    *steps off soap box*

  • It’s so damn avoidable is what kills me.

  • sweekymom

    I couldn’t have said it better. My mother, my cousin, and a dear friend have all been damn near killed by drunk drivers. We ought to stop jailing people who smoke weed and institute mandatory jail sentences for 1st time drunk drivers. It would save money, save lives, and save a whole lot of people a whole lot of pain and heartache.

    My state has the weakest drunk driving laws in the country. It’s pitiful.

  • what a horrible thing to happen at Christmas. those poor children lost both of thier parents bc some fucking moran couldnt spend the night at the house he got intoxicated at!! im sorry but no excuse for him to b driving intoxicated with children in tje car buzzed driving is still drunk driving(sorry for the psa but damn its true) my thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of both families…. Im soooo sorry for thier losses

  • Heather_Habilatory

    Who fucking drinks and drives with their KIDS IN THE CAR?! what the fuck!?

  • LuvsHorror

    Drunk driving and killing someone should be categorized as 1st degree murder. Everyone knows the risks, and to drive while drunk, well that is just premeditated murder.

  • FrikkenFrak

    Two families have been decimated. I can’t fathom this kind of loss.

    As much as it destroys me to read stories like this one, I make myself do it. It serves as an endless validation to my choice to quit drinking years back. I could never escape the fear that one day it would be ME behind the wheel drunk having killed someone. So I quit.

    That said, Merry Christmas to all DD’ers who celebrate the holiday.

  • FrikkenFrak

    I have a 19 year old daughter who went to a Christmas party last Friday night that didn’t start until 10pm and was to be held a good 10 miles from our home. The weather reports for us that day predicted a snow storm with ice and wind speeds up to 45 mph. The girl who was picking my daughter up and driving to the party is only 18. Novice driver? Check. Winter storm? Check. Late night party? Check. Needless to say, I was nervous about the whole matter.

    I told my daughter I’d drive her and pick her up. She poo poo’d that notion repeatedly. When that didn’t work, I relented to this girl driving but then proceeded to drive my daughter NUTS with “If it gets bad out, I’m coming to get you” “you know, you could also get a cab and I’ll pay” and finally became


    Now, fortunately 1. the storm never hit and 2. she got a ride home from someone who doesn’t imbibe drink or drugs. She got home safe.

    Point to all of my story is that, because of people like you, who’ve shared their painful experiences, there is at least ONE person out there who got the message….me.

    With any grace or luck, my daughter will have gotten the message, too.

    Thank you.

  • techsupp0rt

    Multiple accidents as a child (with my drunk mother and drunk boyfriends and drunk third parties smashing into us) has left me with driving related PTSD as well. No one really seems to believe you though unless you went to war, so there’s not a ton I can really do about it. I just have my husband drive me around, and close my eyes a lot.

  • GGMon

    This all could have been avoided, like I don’t understand how no one could have called NKansah a cab at least.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    He knew he was going to be driving his own children home. If this dickhead had had two working brain cells, one of them should have told him not to even have one drink. Now he has no working brain cells………..

  • Eliza Berntsen

    Getting drunk, sticking us kids in the car and driving in the wrong direction at very high speeds was my fathers idea of a fun night out for the kids. He did that a lot. I remember literally shitting myself from fear, praying that the car would just miraculously stop. Once he fell asleep whist speeding on an icy road, in the middle of the night. Thankfully that year we had super high snowfall and we crashed into a snow bank (?) about 2 meters high, without any serious injuries- some scrapes here and there, but nothing painful or serious. To this day I hate being in a car. I hate the idea of being driven somewhere. Getting a taxi ride home is almost as hard as stripping naked in front of someone.

    Ironically I did get injured a few years later by a drunk driver in broad daylight whilst crossing the road on green light. I now have an artificial hip and a knee as a result. Fun times!

    So yeah, fuck you drunk drivers.

  • JohnQknowitall

    Most people don’t realize their alcohol impairment. It is important for hosts to police the guests.

  • I have lost several friends to drunk drivers. I will always hate and loathe people that do that as well.

  • Evangelos

    If you have the urge to drive while drunk please do the world a favor and go play in a snowstorm naked for a few hours. Risking your own life is one thing, but risking the lives of your family and everyone else on the road is a completely asshole selfish thing to do and you should be shot in the stomach.

  • Twisted1

    Me too, my neck gets real sore from looking out the side window because looking ahead makes me jumpy. I also have PTSD from auto accidents. I drive my husband crazy and drive as little as possible myself. Just backing out of the driveway sends my heart rate thru the roof.

  • JGo555

    you reap what you sow.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    They realize it, they just refuse to acknowledge it, or, it’s severity. Oh yeah, it’s always someone else’s responsibility, never the person doing the imbibing when they shouldn’t be drinking at all…

  • JohnQknowitall

    So a person who cannot make good decisions while driving will make good decisions as not to drive? If the person were not intoxicated I would agree. “Loosen up” means to drop inhibitions. If you are helping someone become less aware of his surroundings, you have at least a moral responsibility. Please note I said at least, but I really feel it is more.

  • FrikkenFrak

    John is correct. Drunks DO NOT realize how drunk or effected they are. Some drugs impair judgement, some don’t. Alcohol is on the top of the list in this category, a point scientifically proven.

    I think perhaps the key to responsible drinking is to set up a scenario where you CAN’T get behind the wheel at any point. If you can’t do that, then you should quit. Like I did.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    Please note that I said: “…when they shouldn’t be drinking at all…”
    If a person won’t, or can’t, self-regulate, then they should never put themselves in the middle of a party where alcohol is served. The host isn’t holding them down and forcing them to consume the alcohol, they’re doing it all on their own. It’s called “free will.”

    Shifting responsibility to others is just another social bandwagon for alcoholics & drunken fools to jump onto in order to “water down” their personal culpability.

  • JohnQknowitall

    I think it should be totally illegal to operate any car within 3 hours having a drink. Drinking establishments would lobby that bill to hell.

    Any people who drink and knows they have something responsible duty coming up, like driving, are not responsible… even “if everyone else does” or “if people do” it everyday. Why do you need to serve alcohol at a party anyway? Huge parts of the world don’t consume it and have parties. So if you want alcohol at your party, then you take responsibility of your guests as any good host should when a member of the party is no longer competent – as a result of attending your party.

  • Athena

    As long as we’re trying to give some perspective… 8583 deaths associated with drunk driving in one year, compared to 112,000,000 self-reported incidences of drunk driving in a year (and even that estimate is considered to be rather low, but that’s the number we’ll go with). That means the risk of killing someone while drunk driving is .000077%, or 1 in 13,049. You could drive drunk every day for 35 years and never kill someone.

    I’m not trying to downplay the risk associated with drunk driving, just pointing out that it’s no where near premeditated murder. Those who kill someone while driving drunk should be punished harshly – the current average of about 4 years is not nearly enough. But it’s manslaughter (the unintentional killing of an individual due to negligence), not murder.

  • Athena

    With their unbuckled kids in the car. Drunk driving is unacceptable. Drunk driving with kids in the car is totally fucking unacceptable. Driving drunk with unbuckled kids in the car is a Level-3 fail… unimaginable stupidity.

  • captaingrumpy

    I don’t drink alcohol anymore. Stopped 25 yrs ago and don’t regret it. I see lots of drunken people driving cars or bikes and wonder who they will kill. Alcohol content for a driver should be ZERO.

  • captaingrumpy

    ALL cars ,and I mean ALL cars should have a breathalyzer in the ignition. For EVERYONE.

  • shanshanity

    I know everyone on this site thinks the sun shines out your arse but are you at all capable of letting someone vent/state their opinion without jumping in all-knowing and sanctimonious?
    It’s fucking grating to say the least. I know without fail that if someone mentions death penalty you’ll come galloping in on your high-horse to set them straight..it’s predictable and boring. Anyone that reads these comments regularly gets all the legalities and morality of why the death penalty isn’t applied as much as it should be from your endless novella length post on the subject. Could you please for the love of Jesus bite your tongue every now and then and just let people vent without having to correct them?!

  • Chinchillazilla

    Sounds like he was a real Nkansah on society.


  • come_and_see

    I got in a car with a drunk driver and I will NEVER FUCKING DO IT AGAIN. He was the kind of drunk that could act normal and say he was fine, but then he goes a 100 mp/h down a sidestreet with his girlfriend in the car screaming at the top of her lungs for him to stop and to think of their kids while I’m holding onto the chair like we’re taking off on a plane.

  • Snickering x Hydra

    Is it really such an inconvenience?

    I’ve always seen Athena as a nice contrast to the stream of venting that goes on here.

  • Heather_Habilatory

    I know. If I’m driving my kids anywhere, I won’t have even a drop of alcohol.

  • Buffettgirl

    Feel better now? Did you have to be so mean-spirited about your opposition? Happy Holidays shanshanity…

  • Athena

    These issues are truly, truly important to me. These opinions I challenge are the prevailing opinions that are shaping domestic policy. These opinions are carried with individuals to voting booths. I keep an eye on these threads and, yeah, if I see the comments pile up without a single alternate view offered, I’ll offer one. This is precisely why my presence in these threads is “predictable and boring”. No one else bothers, generally.

    I do it because I believe topics this important deserve a variety of perspectives. I’m sorry you disagree.

  • newstarshipsmell

    Hey now! I did not say “LOL!”

  • You know I love you to death, and you also know I agree with about 90 percent of your comments (and appreciate every one of them), but please know that I do not think sun shines from your ass… I see it more like a rainbow.

  • newstarshipsmell

    With a pot of gold at the end?

    I was going to make some crack about her wooden butt plug named Laurelin, but gave up trying to come up with something actually funny.

  • Snickering x Hydra

    I thought up a few random examples of the types of comments I usually see. Don’t worry, If I ever single you out as an example I’ll be sure it’s a good one (or at least a humorous one).

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    If a person can’t act responsibly at a party, why the Hell did they attend the party? Police yourself. Fuck that AA point of view!

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    My wife & I both drink socially. However, we decide who’s going to be the DD beforehand. Most importantly, we stick to it 100%. And, you’re right, a driver ought to have a 0,0% BAL at all times.

  • Minerva

    As someone injured by a drunk driver, I disagree with the point about complaints cars to guns. One is a method of transportation while another is a weapon that’s purpose is to kill. Yes, more people are injured in cars but that’s because more people drive, statistically, if you compare the amount of licensed drivers divided by accidents compared to gun owners divided by gun deaths you’ll get the point.

    Three Christmases ago I was in the hospital fighting for my life because a drunk driver caused an accident that caused my car to flip on I-95 and I was ejected 40 ft. Luckily an off duty cop and another witness saw what happened and blocked the scene off with their cars so I wouldn’t be hit by another car. They also tried to help the bleeding while waiting for the EMTs. After time in a coma, ICU, hospital, then rehab hospital I needed home care and home PT. I still have chronic pain because of spinal injuries.

    To say however that just because people are injured by cars we should ignore gun restrictions is ignorant. Drunk drivers used to get a pat on the back from cops and a “get home safe” but MADD and others fought to increase penalties and pass laws that increased restrictions. Should we have ignored that as well..? You face Far more scrutiny getting a license and getting a car registered (not to mention procuring insurance) then buying a gun.

  • Minerva

    Depending on states, you can be sued. If a host, bar, etc serves alcohol to a person then continues to serve them after them being visibly intoxicated and then they allow them to drive and the person injures/kill someone, the person or family can sue the host.

    It’s called Dram Shop.
    Person who caused the accident that left me nearly dead was a .32 ( blood draw at hospital three hours after the accident) and spent nearly 12 hours at the bar. He couldn’t stand up apparently but the valet and bouncers gave him his keys to leave. Then my lawyer found out bartenders are given bonuses based on who can “ring” up the most drinks.

  • JohnQknowitall

    Have a drink and calm your nerves. 😉

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    Sorry to burst your bubble, John. Neither I, or my wife, or our live-in G/F are heavy, or even regular, drinkers. As it is, our fully stocked bar is mostly for visitors…

  • Athena

    You have a wife and a live-in girlfriend? I am both jealous and sorry for you. 😛

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    Don’t feel sorry for me. They’re both true sweethearts. As an added bonus, both have already gone through the change, and, I’ve never heard of women’s headache cycles synchronizing… *Snicker!*

  • BehemothII

    You know you give me the crack ups.

  • FrikkenFrak

    Athena, there’s been occasions when I disagreed with you in theory on a point you made but have always 1. defended your right to express it and 2. respected how well you presented it.

    That said, there have also been many, many times you presented factual information I knew nothing about. There’s also been times you brought up an opposing view that impacted my opinion. I appreciate that. I further appreciate someone who has strong opinions who doesn’t go off the deep end. So your comments, in my book, are more than welcome here.

    On a site where emotions can run high, it is good to sometimes be reminded to keep our mind open and our feet grounded. : )

  • Heather_Habilatory

    I think the sun shines out your vag, but what do I know?

  • Heather_Habilatory

    I get it. I’m a wreck survivor, too, and fuck man. I get fucking STRESSED OUT driving some days. Especially when people don’t slow down at unmarked intersections.

    My asshole ex used to blow through unmarked intersections because he knew it scared me. And he WONDERS why he’s an ex!