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Parents speak out about son killed in drunk driving accident

Moving on after losing a loved one can be difficult. Family members grieving the loss of a loved one in an accident caused by a drunk driver may see emotional, financial and personal issues as barriers to a more positive future. Legal channels exist so that these individuals can seek monetary compensation for loss, pain and suffering, but sometimes, individuals go beyond those legal channels to find additional methods for healing. Such is the case with two California parents who lost their 21-year-old son in a drunk driving accident five years ago.

As members of their local Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter, the couple came up with a plan to draw attention to the dangers of driving under the influence while honoring their son's memory. The plan involved the Mercedes their son was driving in 2008 when he was involved in the fatal car accident. According to authorities, the 21-year-old's car was hit from behind by a Subaru Impreza. The 21-year-old died at the accident scene.

In 2010, the man driving the Subaru was convicted of vehicular manslaughter. According to records, the man was driving under the influence and traveling at speeds over 100 mph when he hit the Mercedes. Five years after the accident, the 21-year-old's parents unveiled a trailer containing a special exhibit. With the help of MADD, they purchased the totaled Mercedes from the insurance company and created a custom-designed trailer to hold it.

MADD plans to display the trailer and totaled car at interested schools, organizations and gatherings. The 21-year-old's mother states that she hopes the trailer will raise awareness about the cost of drunk driving. State Farm Insurance presented MADD and the couple with a $15,000 grant to help pay for outreach efforts and education about the issue.

Following serious injury or the loss of a loved one in any type of accident, dealing with immediate needs and emotional upheaval is essential. Sometimes, legal resources can help victims find the funds they need to meet those needs, but in the years following such a loss, activism and reaching out to others can help with emotional healing.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Parents of Castro Valley drunk driving victim unveil trailer containing car son was killed in" No Author Given, Nov. 14, 2013

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