NewsHillsborough County


700 participants raise $100K for 'Walk Like Madd' against impaired driving

TPD officer shares personal story of his scars
Posted at 6:45 PM, Mar 22, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. — Over 700 people raised more than $100,000 in the Walk Like Madd 5K, which was aimed at taking action against impaired driving.

One of the participants we spoke with is a Tampa Police Officer and for him, this is personal.

You wouldn’t know it at first glance but veteran Sgt. John Womack still carries scars caused by a drunk driver.

“I got t-boned and got ejected from the vehicle," said Womack.

He was just a 7-year-old when it happened. Womack was trapped underneath the car when the situation got more serious.

“The battery of the vehicle actually, I guess, cracked," he described.

The acid left him with severe burns to his face.

“That is actually what caused the burn scars here on the side of the face," he said, poiting to the area. "Also on my elbow and a couple of spots on my back.”

Not only was the driver of the other car impaired, his mother’s boyfriend who was driving their car was too, Womack said.

“I can look back and realize that I was a victim," he said.

Fast forward a few decades and Womack may have stopped other kids from sharing his painful fate as part of TPD's DUI patrol unit.

“It’s kind of ironic that you are a victim and now you are in that unit enforcing that part of it to try and stop the impaired driving," he said.

Today he’s walking to end this preventable crime for non-profit Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD. With over $6,000 behind him, Womack has raised the most money out of any individual participant.

“The money goes a long way with trying to do that education and it means a lot," he said.

Today it’s coming around full circle — Survivor. Officer. Leader.