In January 1988, in Brady Lake, Ohio, my father, Larry Sargent, was killed by a drunk driver. I was in the car with him. He was 33 and I was 12. We were parked at the post office when a drunk driver came flying down the icy road at nearly 100 miles an hour. He slammed into our car and pushed us over 100 feet into another parked car. My father was life flighted to the hospital and put on life support. He was declared brain dead two days later. I was transported to a different hospital. All of the bones in my face were crushed and the entire left side of my ribs were broken. I had to undergo multiple surgeries and I still suffer from the injuries today. It is a miracle that I survived. The drunk driver had no injuries. He served 20 years in prison for taking my fathers’ life.
After, the accident, my mother decided to move with my brother and I to Orlando Florida. We were trying to start a new life and move on. In April 1995, the unthinkable happened again. My brother, Victor Sargent, was killed by a drunk driver as he was walking home. He was killed on impact. He was only 21 years old. The drunk driver had no injuries and he was more concerned about his car being damaged, not the young life that he just took. He was very wealthy and ended up walking free. I can only hope that my brothers face haunts him every night.
Both accidents occurred less than a mile from our home. You never expect this happen once, let alone twice. The complete and utter recklessness and lack of judgment of two individuals has changed our lives forever. We will never be the same. All we can do is continue the fight and hope that one day drunk and drugged driving will cease to exist.
— Victoria Rodriguez
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