By Chuck Woodbury
This photo is difficult to view. It’s a woman, Jacqui Saburido, who died last month at the age of 40.
In 1999, at age 20, she was headed home with two friends from a birthday party in Austin, Texas, when her car was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Two other passengers died instantly. Saburido, sitting in the front passenger seat, suffered third-degree burns over 60 percent of her body after the car caught fire. Her medical bills exceeded $5 million.
The driver of the other vehicle, 18-year-old Reggie Stephey, was convicted of two counts of intoxication manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in prison. He was released in 2008. Saburido was never released of her disfigured self.
“Even if it means sitting here in front of a camera with no ears, no nose, no eyebrows, no hair, I’ll do this a thousand times if it will help someone make a wise decision,” Saburido said during one of her many speaking engagements after the accident. “This is part of my mission here on the Earth,” she added in a video on the Faces of Drunk Driving site. “If this face and this body can help others, then why not?”
Remember this woman the next time you think about downing “one more for the road.” And think about it if you are tempted to send a text message at the wheel, or even talk on your phone. How would would you live with yourself if you were responsible for doing something like this to someone else?
Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text and drive. Just drive.
THANKS TO CNN for bringing this to my attention.