Family Shares Message During Holidays: ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’

The family of a man who died in a wrong-way crash with a suspected drunk driver last month is sharing a familiar holiday message: don't drink and drive.

It'll be their first holiday without Melvin Taylor. He lost his life on the Dallas North Tollway October 28.

Taylor's family remembers him as a talented singer, a proud veteran, and a loving husband and father.

His daughter, Evelyn, shared precious memories of him.

"My father was quite honestly my best friend. If I ever needed advice or had a question, he was my first source," says daughter Evelyn Valdez.

Police say Taylor was driving when he was hit by a Range Rover going the wrong way.

Records show the driver, Chaz Thames, had three prior convictions for drunk driving, in 2011, 2013 and 2016.

He was out on parole for the most recent conviction - at the time of the crash.

Renée Taylor sits in shock, as she faces her first Thanksgiving without her husband.

"We had bought plane tickets for our grandchildren. I make really great sweet potato pie and macaroni and cheese, and my husband had invited people from his job. We were going to have such a beautiful time, like we always do, on Thanksgiving, and then this happened," says Taylor.

For her, his death is a double loss.

"Their wedding anniversary was the day after they buried my father. Thirty-eight years," says daughter Evelyn Valdez.

Family attorney, Larry Taylor, says he's seen moments of healing through all of their sadness.

"This is the first time that I've actually heard and seen Renée laugh. I knew that her being able to say, please don't drink and drive this holiday season, that it would help her," says attorney Larry Taylor.

That driver remains in the Dallas County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

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