'I wish I died that night': Drink-driving victim's family speaks out in heartbreaking video

A heartbreaking video by the family of a drink-driving victim has been released to raise awareness about the consequences of driving while under the influence.

Stephen McPherson was killed in May 2019 when William Conrad struck his motorbike in the south Auckland suburb of Pukekohe. Conrad was three times over the alcohol limit and high on methamphetamine.

In October 2019, Conrad was sentenced to two years and eight months' prison after pleading guilty to his charges.

Now, almost a year on, Stephen's partner Rebecca, mother Sue and sisters Nicola and Jane have released a video with NZ Police explaining how their lives have changed since the incident.

"You just destroy a lot of lives - not just the person who you've killed, but their families, their friends, the future of all of those people as well. We just want people to think about that," Nicola says.

"We don't want anyone else to go through this, it's just beyond words to describe what it's like.

"Everything will never be the same and one really important person in your family is not there anymore and it's really, really hard."

Stephen's motorbike after the incident.
Stephen's motorbike after the incident. Photo credit: Supplied

At the time of the incident, Stephen and Rebecca - who had been together for 13 years - were trying to get pregnant. Just hours earlier, Stephen had visited an IVF clinic.

"That driver ruined our dream of having a family, alongside many other dreams."

Rebecca says she was always anxious about Stephen riding his motorcycle at night and they had previously spoken about drunk drivers.
When Stephen didn't return home, she contacted friends and went to look for him. When she turned the corner she found a police cordon and flashing lights.

"That decision the driver made to drive drunk and on drugs has changed my life forever,"  she says.

"There was the 'before' me, and there's an 'after' me, and it's horrendous... I wish I died that night instead of Stephen - and quite often I think that, because it's no way to live without him."

Jane says they will forever be affected by the incident.

"He [the driver] gets to have his own life, his own kids, his own family. We've had that taken from us. It's just not fair.

"It's not just your life that you're risking, it's someone who is completely innocent, who doesn't deserve it."

Tāmaki Makaurau Road Policing Manager Scott Webb says police released the video to bring awareness to what can happen if someone does drive drunk.

"The video says it all... the impact of one person's actions on an entire family is so tragic.

"Nothing will ever bring Stephen back, and the family are so incredibly brave in speaking out.

"The risks of taking alcohol or drugs before driving are demonstrated in this video and too many people continue to do so. We hope that this reinforces the message not to drink and drive or use drugs before driving."

He says the police want to thank Stephen's family for sharing their story in the video which has been posted to Auckland Police Facebook pages.