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Voices of Victims

Why We're Here: Hugh King and Family
By MADD | November 4, 2013 | Filed in: Victim Stories , Victim Services , Drunk Driving

 
 

On Sunday, November 24, 1963, Hugh King, his wife Mary, and Mary’s brother Victor and sister-in-law Rubie went out for a Sunday drive.  But what was supposed to be a relaxing trip with loved ones ended in tragedy when a drunk driver slammed into their car from behind.  The collision forced their car into the oncoming lane, where it was then hit head-on by another car.

Hugh died instantly from the impact.   Despite calling for help at the scene, Rubie, who had partially fallen out of the car,  died from her injuries shortly after.  Mary and Victor survived, but with severe injuries; Mary received over 150 stitches in her face and was in the hospital for over six months in traction, and Victor, who was driving, was crushed, suffering massive internal injuries.  

The two people in the oncoming car were also killed.  Within seconds, four lives were gone and many more were torn apart.
Hugh and Mary’s 10-year-old daughter Mak and 16-year-old son Robert were waiting at home for them to return from their drive.  “It was getting dark and I remember thinking that my Mom would be late for church.  She was never late,” Mak said.  Eventually, their 21-year-old daughter Claudia and Mary’s mother came to the house to tell them what happened.  Claudia told them that their parents had been in a wreck and that “Daddy was dead.”

From that instant, their lives were never the same. 

This November marks 50 years since the crash, but the family still feels the impact.  Hugh’s daughter Mak continues to work with MADD in hopes that she can prevent another family from suffering as her family has.   Mak shares her story at MADD events, explaining to the audience how the crash still affects her each day.  When traveling, she still makes her family call when they’ve arrived at their destination.  If she hasn’t heard from someone and doesn’t know where they are, she panics, thinking of the day when she waited for her parents to come home.

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

 Hugh King was a WWII veteran.  The roadside memorial sign at the site of the crash reads, “Survived WWII.  Killed by a New Mexico Drunk Driver.”

Why We’re Here: Joey Romero
By MADD | October 2, 2013 | Filed in: Victim Stories , Drugged Driving

Joey Romero was a high school senior who loved to make people laugh. He was involved in many sports and planned to join the army after graduation, to serve his country as a military police officer.  He eventually wanted to become a police officer.

On October 29, 2010, 18-year-old Joey was walking on the sidewalk on his way home from work, when a driver jumped the curb and ran him over.  The driver then fled the scene. Two days later, Joey died as a result of his injuries.

According to authorities, the driver was so incoherent from a prescription medicine (that came with instructions to not drive), that she thought she'd hit a pole, tree or bush. As part of a plea deal, she was sentenced to six years in prison and three years of probation for negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

After the crash, Joey's family began pushing for increased penalties for hit-and-run drivers. Under "Joey's Law," drivers who kill someone and then drive off could lose their license for a decade.   Joey’s family members are also dedicated MADD supporters, who participate in MADD support groups, Walk Like MADD events, candlelight vigils, and law enforcement recognition events.

Joey Romero is another tragic example of how alcohol isn’t the only drug that causes heartbreak on our roadways. Drugged driving, which includes driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription medications and sometimes even over-the-counter medications — often times, in combination with alcohol — is a growing threat on our roadways.  Although the substances are different, the consequences are the same — needless deaths and injuries.


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