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Voices of Victims

Why We’re Here: Laura Gorman
By MADD | February 4, 2014 | 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

Why We’re Here: Krystal Limones
By MADD | January 8, 2014 | Filed in: Victim Stories

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

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