HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (October 15, 2016) — Roughly 400 people participated in Saturday’s Walk Like MADD fundraiser and roughly $38,000 was raised to support Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Orange County.
The mission of everyone participating today was to end drunk driving. Many of those participating were family members of people who were injured or killed in collisions involving a drunken driver. Tributes honored victims whose lives were cut short by drunk drivers over the years. Some of those honored were children, teenagers, mothers fathers or friends of those participating. Local police and firefighters were also there to support the families.
The mother of a teenage boy who died last year in a crash caused by a DUI driver spoke to the crowd about what her family went through that day. Most people there could relate to Julie McEnally’s story as they too had suffered immeasurable loss.
On June 25, 2015, Ethan McEnally, 14, of Trabuco Canyon was riding in a car driven by his 18-year-old cousin. The eighth grader and his brother were passengers in the 2004 Toyota Tacoma and the three teenagers were driving home after a family dinner. His mother and other family members drove separately and got home first. They wondered why the boys hadn’t beat them there as they had expected.
Soon after they were contacted by police who informed them about the crash with two other motorists. One of them was a 39-year-old drunken driver identified as Jaime Xahuentit Palacios of Santa Ana. He had struck the pickup at Newland Street and Adams Avenue. Police had been alerted to the drunken driver, but unable to catch him before the collision.
In the aftermath of the crash, paramedics rushed the injured teenagers to three separate hospitals, but sadly, Ethan, the youngest, died. Although she was overcome with grief, his mother’s thoughts were to rush to a second hospital to her older son because she wanted to make sure he didn’t find out the horrible news on social media or in the news.
To further add insult to their sorrow, the driver who caused the crash in his 2000 Nissan Frontier pickup truck was unlicensed and uninsured. The driver was eventually sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that every 51 minutes someone in the Untied States is killed in a collision due to a drunken driver. Drunk driving is no accident and the consequences affect the whole community.
“Crashes involving drunken drivers are 100 percent preventable,” said Attorney James Johnson. “There is no excuse to drive drunk, but sadly it continues to happen. That’s why I support MADD and its efforts.”
Those of us at Johnson Attorneys Group support the families and friends of those who have been hurt or lost due to a careless drunk driver. Our local MADD Orange County offices offer many services and help to victims and their families. Call them for more information at 714-838-8199.
MADD Drunk Driving Statistics
– Every 2 minutes someone is injured by a drunk driver.
– Every day 27 people die in DUI crashes.
– A drunk driver on average has driven 80 times under the influence before being caught.
– Nationwide: 10,265 deaths, 290,000 injuries in 2015 in drunk driving crashes (a death every 51 minutes).
– 26 to 29 year olds had highest rate of drunk driving (20.7 percent).
– People drive drunk 300,000 times per day, but only 3,200 are arrested.
– One third of drivers arrested or convicted of DUI are repeat offenders.
— Johnson Attorneys Group has been a proud sponsor of Walk Like MADD Orange County and Mothers Against Drunk Driving since 2014.
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