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FINALIST ESSAY: Johnson Attorneys Group Never Drink and Drive Scholarship by William Visconti (Spring 2020)

William ViscontiNever Drink and Drive Scholarship Finalist Essay

By William Visconti

“This is a nightmare you can’t wake up from,” Lexi’s mom said. Alexa (Lexi) Faye was only 17 years old when she was killed last year in a car accident. The boy driving was drunk at the time. As a family friend of Lexi’s, I watched this tragic event unfold. Her parents and siblings are forever shattered, and their lives will never be the same. The driver is serving a three-year prison sentence for manslaughter. He must now live with his mistake, which can never be undone. His poor choice resulted in the loss of someone’s daughter, sister, and best friend. Sadly, Lexi is gone, and many lives were
ruined that day because of drunk driving.

On Prom night, many teenagers drink and drive. So that their parents wouldn’t worry, Lexi and her friends hired a limousine to transport them to and from the Prom. That night, Lexi arrived home safe. However, the next day disaster struck. She and her friends had planned to visit a nearby zoo. Unbeknownst to Lexi, her friend Anthony, who was driving, had consumed six beers before picking up the group. It was revealed later in court that this was his daily routine. He drank every day. He was “buzzed driving” and speeding at 115 mph when his car flipped over and rolled down an embankment. Lexi was killed instantly. This happened the day before Mother’s Day.

It was unsettling seeing Lexi’s picture on television. The news report focused on the accident but only gave a glimpse into her life. She was a beautiful person inside and out, with a heart of gold. Lexi was caring and kind and was well liked by everyone. It was no surprise that over a thousand people attended her funeral. All over town, white ribbons were tied to trees in her honor since white was Lexi’s favorite color. Although, I think it represented how pure she was, as the ribbons reminded me of angel wings.
After losing Lexi, her father could not return to work for months. Her mother is suffering from nightly terrors and panic attacks. Her brother, who attends the same high school, often hears whispers as he walks by, a daily reminder that his sister is not there.

Her younger siblings miss their older sister who used to cheer them on at sporting events and bake cookies with them during the holidays. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, an empty chair was set at the table for Lexi. These should have been joyous occasions; however, this is when her absence has been felt the most. I get choked up now when I see Lexi’s family. You can tell a part of them is
missing. It is devastating that they lost someone so young, so suddenly, and so senselessly. Lexi should still be with us. All we can do now is honor her memory by encouraging others to not drink and drive to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring.

William Visconti is studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Pat Rillera, Regional Executive Director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Southern California, will be selecting our winner later this week.

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