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Why We’re Here: Laura Gorman
By MADD | February 4, 2014| 9 Comments | Filed in: Victim Stories

On February 25, 2006, 18-year-old Laura Ann Gorman, a college freshman, was riding home with a friend.  The driver, who had been drinking, drove off the interstate and crashed into a tree.  Laura died at the scene— just a few miles from her dorm room.  The driver, whose BAC was .12 three hours after the crash, was convicted of DUI manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison.

Those who knew Laura describe her as a bright, beautiful and caring individual. A hard working and conscientious student, she graduated from high school with a string of awards and accomplishments. She loved cheerleading and spent many hours as a teen volunteer for hospice. She earned an Honors Scholarship from her college and a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Her life held enormous potential; she was someone who had the promise and compassion to make a difference. Her death is not only a monumental loss for her family, who are left wondering what might have been, but for the community as well.

After Laura was killed, her family joined MADD. “Joining MADD was a way to keep Laura’s memory alive and to know that her life made a difference,” says her mother, Helen Gorman.  Helen is the Chair of the Pinellas Walk Like MADD® Committee for the third year and also serves on the MADD Pinellas Advisory Board.   Laura’s younger sister, Diana, is also involved with MADD, as well as other drunk driving prevention efforts.

Laura’s family shares her story in hope that it will send a strong message regarding the 100% preventable crime of drunk driving and ultimately spare another family from the irreversible devastation they have endured.   

Click here to read more about Laura on her tribute page or make a donation in her honor.

Team Laura at Walk Like MADD



Submitted by Pychiatry at 01:14 PM on November 7, 2014
The only difference between drunk driving and DUI homicide is luck. People get a slap on the wrist for drunk driving but prison when someone dies. It's basically the same crime. Seize the car(it doesn't matter who the owner is),lose drivers license for life(no hardship license) and incarcerate the offender for one year for the first DUI. That's not going to happen, but it would make a diffence. Society does not want drunk driving to stop. There is a parking lot at every bar
Submitted by Tina at 12:59 AM on June 30, 2014
Reading all these stories of victims has again triggered my memory of last Sunday. My fathers sister and brother along with my moms sister and two elderly grandparents were involved in an accident with a man who ran a Red light, his intoxication was so high that they said it was 4 times the normal limit. He killed four on the spot and put my grandmother in a hospital. She is stable but in critical condition. We had 4 funerals this past week and my cousins lost both the parents in one night. It's been an absolute tragedy to everyone and to the community in which they served as members of the temple. I want strict laws and the penalty should be very high. To take the life of someone else because they were selfish is dishonoring the passed loved ones.
Submitted by UnderCover at 03:18 PM on April 22, 2014
I am doing a social studies report on how the fines for drunk driving should be increased! I am finding out as much information as I can and I understand about how hurtful it is to loose a loved one. I think the only reason the government lets people smoke and drink is because it makes them more money and they don't care about our well being. I don't think its very fair and I think the fines should be very high so maybe people will think twice before putting other people's family members and their self at risk!
Submitted by jackie at 12:05 PM on April 5, 2014
I remember Laura as beautiful & intelligent. So tragic for the Gormans to lose their lovely daughter. Drunk driving is such a terrible waste of life.
Submitted by PeoplePerson at 12:16 AM on February 17, 2014
How you became an actual branch of the government is bizarre. Roads and cars are already unsafe. For example, all yellow lights should be longer. In any case, there are many things missing from your analyses. One of them is a deterrent. The way things are, this is not a deterrent. It is a very heavy-handed, disorganized, brutal and strange process that has many people wishing they could change their citizenship. But when they look around the globe, it is now no better anywhere else either.
Submitted by Anonymous at 08:40 PM on February 12, 2014
Our daughter Angela Rygwelski was killed on Holy Saturday April 10,2004. The drunk driver received 6-15 years. He had a list of violations from his past a arm long. We go to court every year because he comes up for appeal. So far we have been able to keep him in prison. He was not sorry and his family harassed our family when we were in court. We just went to the board of appeals this year and it sounds like they may let him out. I believe he will go out and kill again because he does not have respect for the law. Mad helped us when we were in court and my son became and advocate for his sister. I am hoping Mad can help us again to keep my daughter's killer in prison. There is no difference between and automobile drunk driving a weapon or someone shooting a gun and killling you
Submitted by darrell at 02:08 PM on February 10, 2014
after looking at MADD website and calling & speaking to a madd rep. in ARK. at 2:pm today. MADD does nothing at all to stop drunk driving and appear to be nothing more then self serving with all of their ( asking for donations )
Submitted by kermith33 at 10:38 AM on February 10, 2014
What has been bothering me in a big way is that...The smoking commercials and all the dangers and graphics...And what tv is doing is promoting drinking...There should be many graphic commercials about drinking and the out come of it !!!
Submitted by donna at 07:07 PM on February 8, 2014
To the Gorman Family: My hearts and prayers go out to you and your family as the 8 yr anniversary is approaching of the loss of your beautiful Laura. May GOD continue to give you comfort and strength.

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