Corcoran family attends State of the Union, advocate in D.C. after son’s death

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CORCORAN FAMILY IN DC FOR SOTU_Blackburn_Burchett_0205_1549427772813.jpg.jpg

An East Tennessee family is not losing hope in taking their fight to lawmakers, attending the State of the Union address after experiencing a tragedy. 

It was just after Christmas when Knoxville Fire Dept. Capt. D.J. Corcoran and his wife Wendy had to bury their 22-year-old son. Pierce Corcoran was killed in a wreck on the Chapman Highway. Prosecutors say the driver accused of negligent homicide from the wreck, Franco Francisco-Eduardo, was in the U.S. illegally and had been for more than 14 years. 

Since the accident, the Corcorans have been pushing for border security, hoping to prevent tragedies in the future.

Both parents were invited as guests to President Trump’s State of the Union Tuesday night.

    Previous Story | Parents of Pierce Corcoran to attend State of the Union 

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Blake Stevens reported from the nation’s capitol, speaking with the Corcorans just after 4 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Captain D.J. Corcoran attended as Senator Marsha Blackburn’s guest and as a grieving father. His wife, Wendy, also attended the event as a guest to Congressman Tim Burchett.

“I hope they take away a little more confidence in the system that failed them, caused their son to lose their life, a failure of this system. I think they’ll leave here with a sense that they did accomplish something that maybe in their small part they did something to keep this from ever happening to another family,” said Congressman Tim Burchett, R-TN. 

“Their story is so compelling. They are working diligently to tell Pierce’s story. We thought, this would be a wonderful opportunity for the Corcorans to continue to tell their story and honor their son,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn.  

The Corcorans saying they are not giving up on their mission. 

“Coming here, this is where things get done,” said D.J. Corcoran. “That’s why we’re here. But, we also know we’re here representing other Angel Families that couldn’t be here, aren’t ever going to be invited here by their representation in their states and that’s sad.”

With family top of mind, these two parents not likely to stop with the State of the Union. 

“We talk about Pierce and tell the story, that somebody hears this, maybe someone on the other side and they soften a little bit,” D.J. said. “And they see us as neighbors, fellow citizens of the United States and they see that could have been us, that could have been our child.” 

This isn’t the first time the Corcorans have advocated for their son, Pierce, in our nation’s capitol. 

The Corcorans are hoping to achieve just a few goals – one, to help prevent this from happening to another family; two – to tell the story of their son. 

While Pierce’s sister, Avery Pressley, did not attend the State of the Union Tuesday, she, too, has advocated for border security and improved immigration laws in recent weeks since her brother’s death; speaking at Capitol Hill in D.C. last month. 

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