The story is a familiar one. A local woman gets her in car after having too many drinks and she rear-ends another vehicle in an Orange County crash.
This is one of those stories involving more than just damage to vehicles, a DWI arrest and a fine, etc. This time the woman wasn’t alone. As she drove drunk, her car carried her own two daughters, ages six and 12, who escaped unharmed, and her 11-year-old niece, who suffered a severe head injury.
The Mid-Hudson News reports that the woman was driving west on Route 17K in the Town of Newburgh when the crash and injury took place.
Imagine the anguish of parents of kids injured in these kinds of cases. They entrusted their child to an aunt or uncle, who turns around and violates that trust by driving while intoxicated.
As we all know, intoxicated people are often lax or negligent or oblivious to vital safety concerns such as making sure young girls and boys buckle up properly.
When drunk, people tend to drive too fast for conditions, have dramatically reduced reaction times and do things such as follow other vehicles at dangerously close distances (in this case, the woman was cited for following too closely). When the car ahead brakes unexpectedly, the drunk driver is slow to react and a violent crash follows.
And if the child isn’t properly secured in their seat, a severe head injury can be the tragic result.
In addition to their heartbreak over seeing their child suffer, parents also have to cope with enormous medical bills and time away from work to watch over and tend to their injured girl or boy.
The irresponsibility of the entrusted adult relative can ripple through a lot of innocent lives. And the impact can be felt for months, years and even a lifetime.