PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Portland family is calling for justice after a mother and wife was killed by a drunk driver.
On April 26, Melinda Gurley was on her way to meet her husband for lunch, when a driver allegedly under the influence, drove through a red light.
“I think about why someone was out driving before noon at that rate of speed,” Jimmy Gurley said.
Melinda’s husband, Jimmy, continues to ask the question—why.
“This mistake has caused us a lot of grief and changed our lives forever,” Jimmy said.
Melinda and Jimmy have been together for 23 years. She was a mother of two with an artistic spirit.
“Everyone she met was a friend. She had such a bubbly personality, beautiful smile. She was my everything,” Jimmy said.
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Melinda’s name was tattooed on his right arm nearly a decade ago. It is a reminder that she will always be with him.
“A good thing to remember her by, it will never go away, its permanent,” Jimmy said.
According to Portland Police, this was the driver’s second DUI offense. William Swafford has a handful of other charges, including two counts of assault on an officer.
News 2 did reach out to his attorney for a comment, however, they declined to comment at this time.
“I’m going to fight for justice, I want him to stay in jail and I want him to feel guilty for what he did but I also know she would want us to have compassion. “I don’t know where we really go from here. there’s no peace I feel, she deserves justice,” Addie Gurley, Melinda’s daughter, said.
Melinda’s family told News 2 they donated her organs to help save someone else’s life.
If you would like to help the family out with funeral costs, a GoFundMe can be found here.