In the early hours of January 1st, after ringing in 2009 with friends, 22-year-old Krystal Limones got in the car with her friend to head home… but her friend who was driving had also been drinking, and Krystal wasn’t wearing her seatbelt.
The drunk driver rammed head-on into a concrete column after running a stop sign. Krystal was thrown from the backseat and crashed into the windshield. After emergency surgery and two days in the ICU, Krystal was declared brain dead. On January 2nd she was taken off life support and her organs were donated. The driver was charged with intoxicated manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison.
Krystal was known as the “fun friend”—she was always up for anything and was usually happy and giggling. The thing she wanted more than anything was to get married and have a family, but this dream would never come true.
Krystal’s friend Cathy Drew worked with Krystal, and remembers how difficult it was returning to work to see all of the emails about the crash and watch them clean out her friend’s desk. She began attending MADD’s support group and other events, and found a way to grieve her friend by sharing her story at victim impact panels.
Cathy is now a volunteer victim advocate for MADD in Krystal’s honor. “I promised Krystal the last time I saw her in that ICU room that I would be her voice, and so, when able, I share her story with others,” Cathy said. “I feel like that is one way of honoring her life.”
|Krystal at a charity event|