Jessica and Rosa
On Halloween night in 2008, 17 year old Jessica Fraire was walking around enjoying Halloween with her friend, Rosa Zaragoza, when they were hit by a drunk driver.
After taking her little sister, Carmen, trick-or-treating with her parents, Jessica went to Rosa’s house, just a couple of blocks from her own. It was still early, just 7:30 on that Friday night. As Jessica was getting out of the car to go to Rosa’s, Sonia, Jessica's mother, said “just say no.” It was a joke because alcohol was never something Jessica’s parents had to worry about. Jessica rolled her eyes and said “oh wow,” something she said quite often. That was the last time Sonia got to hear her daughters voice.
Three hours later there was a knock on the door. The police officer told them that Jess had been in a car accident and that they needed to go to the hospital. Once they arrived they realized the girls were hit by a car right in front of Rosa’s house and the driver fled the scene.
Jessica was unconscious and had severe head trauma, a punctured lung, and fractured bones around her right eye. Rosa was in another room with multiple broken bones.
Four days after they were hit, on Jessica’s sister Carmen's third birthday, Jessica passed away. “We like to tell Carmen that Jess wanted to be here for her birthday, because they were so close,” Sonia said.
Eventually the driver turned herself in and admitted to having several drinks before the crash.
Jessica’s family has joined MADD in its quest to educate people on the dangers of drunk driving. They speak at Victims Impact Panels and have a team for Walk Like MADD. They still attend monthly MADD support groups.
“It is so unthinkable that someone could be so selfish to ‘cruise’ around drunk on a night when children are everywhere. This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. It is still a struggle. I miss my daughter every day. I don't think I could have made it through without the love and support we have received from MADD and their advocates. I have a hole in my heart that will never be filled,” Sonia said.