Aly was a natural born leader and an adventurer. She loved life and was always trying something new.

She strived to help others by caring for her grandfather and teaching a neighbor how to use the computer. At 12 she had already experienced great pain through multiple surgeries including a hip replacement. This, however, did not suppress Aly’s spirit- she was brave, energetic, and a fighter. Her fighting chance was cut short when a seventeen-year-old made the decision to drink and drive.

Aleandra “Aly” Anika Sanchez

Aleandra “Aly” Anika Sanchez

As a parent, one of Frances’ biggest fears was to get a visit or call from the police in the middle of the night with news that one of her precious daughters had been hurt. On April 6, 2013, this fear became a reality when Aly got in a car with seven other individuals, all who had been drinking, and died in a drunk driving crash.

A fear realized

The news of the crash spread throughout the night, and the social media posts were about Aly, France’s youngest daughter. Frances received a phone call from her brother’s girlfriend, who worked at a hospital at the time, telling her about a car crash with many kids involved. She told her that two of them had died and instructed her to drive to the hospital.

France’s first instinct was, “it couldn’t be her she is at a sleepover” but her mother’s instinct said, “You should go to the hospital.”

While driving there, Frances passed through the crash scene and remembers getting chills. She decided to drive to the police station instead, when she arrived she was notified that Aly had been ejected from the vehicle and killed instantly.

The driver was a repeat offender and had a DUI prior to his arrest. His decision to drink and drive caused the death of two children and injured four. He was sentenced to a year in county jail and released on probation.

Voices of Victims: A mother turns grief into action

Frances shares her story to honor Aly – a beloved daughter, friend, granddaughter, niece, and sister who gave people around her so much in her short 12 years of life. She hopes that children become more aware of the consequences of their actions and that parents keep their children accountable. “It is important to have conversations about responsibility, not following peer pressure, and that they [children] are notRelated Content immortal,” Frances said. “I wish I would’ve had that conversation with Aly and told her that getting in the car is not always the best answer.”

Aly’s dream was to become a fashion designer, and though her family doesn’t get to see her achieve this dream, Frances hopes that other youth can follow their dreams and live long healthy lives.

“My hope is that no other family has to endure the pain that we share, that they get to see their children grow up and achieve their full potential”.

Frances and loved ones will continue to remember Aly as their kind spirited, courageous, and singing soul.