DeBARY, Fla. - A father whose daughter was struck and killed by a vehicle in DeBary in 2010 is calling out a candidate for Florida House of Representatives for calling him a disgrace to his daughter.
Donald Mair's 12-year-old daughter was hit and killed four years ago and since then, Mair has worked tirelessly to pass Gabby's Law, a law to improve student safety at bus stops by putting cameras on school buses to deter drivers from trying to pass them as students cross.
Mair asked for former DeBary Mayor Bob Garcia to be a part of a student safety fair at Half Off Books. Garcia quickly got involved but when Mair got concerned that the fair was becoming too political, things quickly went downhill.
Mair said he couldn't believe his ears when he got a voicemail from Garcia that said, "You have disgraced your daughter's name, as far as I'm concerned."
"It's just cruel, heartless," said Mair.
Garcia left the message after Mair walked out of a meeting with him. Mair said Garcia insinuated it was Gabby's fault that she got hit, so he walked out and later texted Garcia that he was pulling out of the event.
"Why would you call this father a disgrace to his deceased daughter's name?" asked Channel 9's Lori Brown.
"Because of his actions, he's not representing his daughter on his actions," said Garcia. "He's worried more about his personal feelings. He's doing her a disservice by doing what he's doing. Maybe I used a bad choice of words."
After Brown pressed Garcia, he apologized on-camera to Mair.