Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tami Atwater Mitchell, r.i.p.

This is a sad story. Tami Atwater was a crack addict by age 19. She cycled in and out of jail until at last she landed in Orange County's drug treatment court. Given opportunity and incentive to change her life, she found it worth a try. She became the first graduate of the 18-month rehabilitation program associated with this wonderful alternative sentencing program that Judge Joe Buckner started in 2002.

Last June, I attended a "Unity Day" celebration at Freedom House in Chapel Hill, the first reunion of alumni of the DTC program. I heard Tami's moving story. She was by then married, with a son. She had a job, and she owned her own house and car. She had her life, a life that was almost thrown away.

Tami died yesterday in a collision with a school bus. Her name isn't mentioned in the story below, but I'm told by the DTC folks that it was her. I'm so sorry.

Car driver dies in school bus crash

UPDATE: Fuller story from N&O.

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