Wednesday, February 1, 2023


A heartbreaking story, and a reminder to you

Note from editor Chuck Woodbury: I found this short essay on LinkedIn. It broke my heart. But I realized that I needed to share it on as an important reminder. You’ll understand why after you read it.

By Deanna Russo

My phone rang at 12:22 a.m.

It was my mom telling me to go to Mercy Hospital, Karen had been in an accident, because that’s what the message on their machine told them when they got home from a movie.

A blinking light on their answering machine and all these years later they still take a deep breath when they see a blinking light and check their messages.

We got to the hospital first. 

On the way from one waiting room to another, we passed dozens of police officers. 

They said, “Wait here until your parents get here.”

That’s when my head started spinning. Wait, what? Where is she? Why can’t I give my little sister a hug and tell her everything is going to be OK? That’s my job. I’m the big sister. I have to take away her pain and make her feel better. 

My parents got there and a police investigator opened the door and he said, “There was an accident and Karen didn’t make it.”

Karen didn’t make it. 

Just like that, she was gone. 

My mom kept shaking her head and said, “You have the wrong person. I want to see her.” We held hands and walked into the room and there she was. Her beautiful blue eyes were shut. She was pale white. My knees buckled. 

March 6, 1998, my little sister Karen was killed by a drunk driver. She was 18 years old.

If you would like to help reduce tragedies like this, please consider a donation to M.A.D.D., Mothers Against Drunk Driving.


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Cheryl Bacon
1 year ago

Very sad and totally preventable. DUI not only includes driving drunk, it is also includes drugs. The maddening thing is the drugs are usually prescription medications. There are a lot of prescription medicines where, if people bothered to read the warnings they say do not drive or operate machinery. If we are really going to take DUI serious, we need to also make a point that a lot of them are not alcohol related, but prescription drug related and the court findings/punishment need to be the same no matter what the DUI was for.

Gene Bjerke
1 year ago

The US needs to be like Norway, where first offense DUI is three weeks in the slammer. (They refer to it as the 21-day vacation).

1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

Not true. Punishment depends on the alcohol level. Look it up.

John Koenig
1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

I LIKE that idea!

Mike Sherman
1 year ago

America still goes easy on DUI. Most are released within a few hours with a court date that will probably result in a stiff fine and very little or no jail time….maybe probation. It depends on the states, prior convictions, etc. If we were serious, they would not be released for 48 hours upon arrest….let them explain why they failed to show up for work or special, planned event. If they are found guilty, they go from the courtroom to jail for a minimum 30 days for a first conviction. If they have priors they should be jailed for 90 days+. Until then, the only real hardship is it gets expensive between the fines and increased insurance premiums.

1 year ago

DUI – NO! NO! Just don’t do it!
Thanks for sharing.

Live free. Ride free.
Stay safe, Joe

Neal Davis
1 year ago

Very sad, but once the sadness passes anger will come. Anger that people still drive drunk or otherwise impaired. Thanks for sharing, Chuck. 😯😥♥️🙏😠😡

Last edited 1 year ago by Neal Davis
Hook N' Haul 789
1 year ago

A sad story indeed, but thanks for sharing. Driving under the influence is so bad. M.A.D.D. deserves all the support they can muster in fighting this horrendous crime. So many tragedies each and every year caused by DUI; and so little done effectively to stop it.
God grant Karen restful peace.

Jerry S.
1 year ago

Very well said. Support M.A.D.D.

1 year ago

Look up the obesity health and death rates and then think again about supporting an egotistical org like madd. More and more people die from overeating each year and the numbers just get worse. Last year 10,000 died from DUI (madd number) but over 2,000,000 die each year from being fat, and then there are the extra health care costs.

1 year ago
Reply to  WEB

Fat people don’t take others with them when they die. Your argument is stupid and shows you just have a problem with”fat” people. How many people hurt themself or die climbing, biking, hiking…. But hey just get your fat hate on. ****** (bleeped by Diane)

1 year ago
Reply to  WEB

Uhhhh? Web, if drunk people kill themselves, that’s one thing, BUT they kill OTHER PEOPLE. Those 10,000 KILLED that you quoted WERE NOT THE DRUNKS. Dying and being killed are two different things in this society.

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