In the early hours of Sunday morning, 11 people were killed on our nation’s highways in two wrong-way crashes. Five people, including four University of South Florida fraternity brothers, died in the crash in Tampa, Florida, and six people, including four relatives, were killed in Diamond Bar, California.
Police arrested a 21-year-old female driver on suspicion of driving under the influence in connection to the California crash that killed six. The Florida crash is still under investigation, so it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved at this time.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, driver impairment by alcohol was identified by investigators as a factor in 60 percent of fatal wrong-way collisions, and nine percent of wrong-way drivers had been convicted of driving while intoxicated within the three years prior to the wrong-way collision.
Our hearts go out to these families and communities who are dealing with these tragedies. Eleven families now face empty seats at their tables. Their loss is unimaginable – their pain unspeakable.
But we want to get the word out to these families and all affected by substance impaired driving that MADD is here to help. Call 877.MADD.HELP (623.3435) to speak with a trained victim advocate, day or night.