‘An Opportunity to Walk for Those Who no Longer Walk Beside Us’
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 17, 2022) — Roughly 120 people attended the SoCal Walk Like MADD – In memory of Toño Rodas Lima fundraiser Saturday at Rosie’s Dog Beach. Together they raised $44,1200 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
The annual fundraising event benefits survivors and victims of drunk driving here in Los Angeles County and Orange County.
Patricia Rillera, California State Executive Director of MADD, reminded attendees that “We need to call it out when we see someone impaired.”
MADD Walk In Memory of In memory of Toño Rodas Lima
This year’s fundraiser is held in memory of 22-year old Ervin Antonio “Tono” Rodas Lima who died in May 16, 2021.
Family members say Tono Rodas Lima was heading home after a pickup basketball game when a suspected DUI driver crashed broadside into his 2018 Honda Accord car at high speeds in the Clairemont Mesa West area of San Diego. Sadly, he suffered major injuries and died at the scene. The young man was about to graduate from the University of California San Diego with a degree in Biochemistry. Also, he had recently accepted an invitation to complete the PhD program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel.
The young man’s aunts and family members were present at today’s walk, but his mother is still grieving his loss and prays for him daily.
“My sister cannot deal with the loss,” said Glenda Valdez, speaking about her nephew Tono’s mother. “Tono was like a son to me.”
She added that the woman who killed him is still free. “We need to let people know that his life ended because a reckless drunk driver,” Valedez said. “We want to honor him. We really have to bring awareness.”
Team Tono has raised roughly $3,200 for this year’s fundraiser.
Families Remember Loved Ones Lost to Drunk Drivers
The top fundraiser this year is Gail Lerner who raised nearly $7, 000 in just the two days before the walk. She is the mother of Ruby Campbell, 17, and Hart Madison Campbell, 14, who both died roughly three years ago in a Moronga Valley crash with a drunk driver. Both Gail Lerner, and her husband, Colin Campbell, survived the crash on Highway 62 with moderate and major injuries.
Also at today’s fundraiser, were members of the law enforcement community who shared how difficult it is for them to see the aftermath of these collisions and console family members.
Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Blake Chow added that police are on the front lines getting these drunk drivers off the streets.
“We dream to have a day when we don’t have to have these walks,” he said.
Our law firm, Johnson Attorneys Group, was one of the many sponsors of this year’s Walk Like MADD. It’s our ninth year supporting this worthy event. Other sponsors this year included Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, Costa Mesa Police Association, Uber, GermX, Geico Philanthropic Foundation, Long Beach Balloons and More.
“I can’t think of any greater cause than helping innocent victims of drunk drivers,” said Attorney James Johnson.
About Johnson Attorneys Group
Attorney James Johnson does not represent the families mentioned above. Johnson Attorneys Group (JAG) was founded back in 2007 with the sincere goal of wanting to help people. Over the years, Mr. Johnson has handled hundreds of cases involving DUI victims and the family members who have lost loved ones in collisions with drunken drivers. The personal injury law firm began its annual sponsorship of MADD in 2013. If you have legal questions, please contact our law firm at 1-800-235-6801 to request a free consultation.
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