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Over long holiday weekend, Colorado family stresses importance of driving sober

Over long holiday weekend, Colorado family stresses importance of driving sober

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Colorado Division of Transportation (CDOT) reported 745 individuals died on Colorado roads in 2022, marking essentially the most roadway deaths since 1981 within the state. In accordance with CDOT, 278 individuals died in 2022 because of impaired driving, which is nearly a 60% improve from 2019.

The lengthy Fourth of July weekend is stuffed with celebrations, however one Colorado household needs to remind everybody how crucial it’s to drive sober.

The previous few years have been troublesome for 16-year-old Sophie Lowery. {The teenager} misplaced her father to most cancers simply over three years in the past, and considered one of her older cousins was killed by an impaired driver final 12 months.

RELATED: ‘He won’t be forgotten’: Family members unfold gentle in honor of teenybopper killed by suspected impaired driver

Her cousin, Tanner Lund, was 19 years previous when he died, following a March 2022 automobile crash involving an impaired driver on the intersection of West 98th Ave. and Federal Boulevard in Denver.

“Tanner was a selfless, actually humorous, type, superb cousin,” Sophie mentioned.

Then, on Could 20 of this 12 months, Sophie was in a terrifying automobile crash in Falcon. It occurred just below two months after getting her license.

“I noticed these shiny lights coming at me tremendous quick. I noticed that this individual was in my lane. It was inevitable that I used to be going to get hit,” Sophie defined. “I swerved left to try to get in his lane as a result of I believed if he’s in my lane, I’ll get in his lane for a second. After which I acquired hit and I blacked out.”

Sophie’s mom, Robin, mentioned her daughter sustained vital accidents within the crash.

“Even our pediatric trauma surgeon mentioned it was a miracle she didn’t have abrasions and contusions on her face or forearms. She didn’t have a traumatic mind harm, however she’s acquired numerous different inner accidents that she’s working via,” Robin mentioned. “When he [the other driver] hit her automobile, the influence was so nice, it pushed her automobile again 89 toes.”

The Lowerys mentioned they obtained the police report concerning the crash final week. Robin mentioned it estimated the opposite driver was touring at round 60 miles an hour, which is almost double the velocity restrict on that stretch of street.

Sophie was shocked to study from the police report that her car spun counterclockwise, as a result of she didn’t keep in mind that occurring.

“Seeing the phrases ‘vehicular assault’ as a major violation, as a result of her accidents had been critical, simply undoubtedly rattles you… And to know that he seemingly was impaired,” Robin mentioned, who believes the household could have concrete solutions concerning the state of the opposite driver after the toxicology reviews are finalized.

“To get this report was very validating for her [Sophie] as effectively. To see she had no violation, she was not within the flawed,” Robin mentioned whereas trying over the report.

Sophie spent a number of days within the hospital recovering, and mentioned getting again behind the wheel has been scary.

“I’ve numerous PTSD and trauma from vehicles coming at me, and so I’m scared I’m going to get hit once more,” Sophie mentioned.

Renee Lund, Sophie’s aunt and Tanner’s mom, mentioned it felt as if she crawled out of her pores and skin when she realized her niece was within the automobile crash.

“Anger and frustration and disbelief. Like, I can’t imagine that another person in our household is being affected by an impaired driver,” Renee mentioned. “I imagine that her [Sophie’s] father, and I’ll give Tanner a bit of credit score too, had been together with her that night time.”

PREVIOUS: Mom whose son was killed by suspected impaired driver vows to make a distinction on Colorado roads

The Lowery household doesn’t have affirmation the driving force in Sophie’s case was impaired on the time of the crash, however the trauma of the night time can’t be forgotten.

“While you see your 16-year-old in a neck brace and within the ER and also you see her garments have been reduce off of her and he or she’s screaming in ache and crying, and the primary phrases out of her mouth had been ‘Mommy I believed I used to be going to die. Mommy I believed I used to be going to die.’ That’s a tough reminiscence to carry in your reminiscence financial institution for positive,” Robin mentioned.

Lund mentioned the driving force in her son’s case, Noe Menjivar Chavez, pleaded responsible to vehicular murder and was sentenced to 9 years in jail. She doesn’t imagine the punishment adequately suits the crime, and needs to push for harsher penalties with regards to impaired driving in Colorado.

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