Raleigh –At 2 a.m., Lisa Vogel got a knock on her front door. Two state troopers were standing there, and Vogel realized her worst fear had come true. Her 21-year-old son Jackson had been killed in a car crash involving a drunk driver.
On Memorial Day weekend 2005, Jackson got into a car with a driver who had been drinking.
“Jackson was bright, loving and had a great sense of humor; we miss him very much,” Lisa said. “I often wonder what he would look like, would he have a family and where he would be today if he was still alive. All of the hopes and dreams you have for your child are all gone. They’re dashed.”
Lisa and her husband Hans are advocates against drunk driving. They spend hours each week speaking to groups about the importance of making responsible decisions before getting behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking. “It only takes one time to drink and drive and kill someone. What happened to Jackson was 100 percent preventable,” Lisa said.
Lisa is a victim advocate at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Sandhills community action site.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Program kicks off its St. Patrick’s Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign today and it runs through Sunday, March 18. Law enforcement will be out in full force over the holiday weekend to remove drunk drivers from North Carolina’s highways.
Last year, 388 people died in alcohol-related wrecks in North Carolina. Twenty-nine of them were between the ages of 15 and 19. More than 10,000 accidents involving drunk driving were reported last year. In those crashes, 8,159 people were injured.
GHSP reminds motorists that everybody is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else when they get behind the wheel and have been drinking. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver.
A powerful message from Jackson’s mom, Lisa, can be found at this link.
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