Friday, March 27, 2015

IN THE NEWS: Victim of drunk driving crash shares story for local students

Posted Mar. 27, 2015 at 7:33 AM

APPLE VALLEY — Through a mock sentencing trial and an emotional account of a teen's involvement in a drunken driving crash, seniors at Granite Hills High School were given a serious lesson Thursday morning about the consequences of drunk driving.

More than 200 GHHS seniors gathered with students from other county high schools at the school's performing arts center for a mock sentencing of a DUI driver based on a real collision that injured four teens in Rialto in June 2014. The event kicked off the Safe and Sober Prom 2015 campaign, an effort sponsored by the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, the District Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Department to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of driving drunk.

First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood and DA Michael Ramos attended the event and voiced their support of the program.
"We don't want to see anymore victims, especially young victims or collateral victims," Ramos said Thursday morning. "We see that every day, where a loved one's life was lost. But because of these prevention and intervention programs we are seeing a reduction (in alcohol-related cases filed). We had 13,000 cases in 2012 ... 11,000 in 2014. My goal is to get that way down."

After the comments from officials, 17-year-old Jurupa Valley High School student Gabriella Limon took to the dais to give a first-hand account of her experience being in a crash involving a drunken driver. She proceeded to tell about how she, her boyfriend and two other friends were driving to a Sweet Sixteen celebration on the night of June 21, 2014 when they were "T-boned" by a drunk driver.
"We had plans to enjoy a beautiful summer night," Limon said. "Little did we know, we wouldn't be attending any events that night. My legs, my arms, I (couldn't) feel them. As soon as they got me out the pain hit and it was unbearable, it felt like my lower body was unattached."

She suffered a broken pelvis, punctured kidney and scars from pieces of glass that landed on her during the crash. Her friends suffered injuries ranging from a broken spine to internal bleeding and punctured intestines.

"All because that guy chose to drink and drive and hit us," Limon said.



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