MADD puts on powerful display at South campus


Jessica Warren

The wreckage featured in Horrors of Crash highlights the tragedy of drunken driving.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organized a chilling display called Horrors of Crash on San Jacinto College South Campus Oct. 22 featuring wreckage extracted from deadly drunken driving crashes.

GUST and INRW classes assisted in coordinating the event aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving among college students.

Carol Levin, a MADD volunteer and a victim’s mother, said a drunken male driving 85 mph hit her son’s vehicle head on. He died instantly while his fiancé died on the way to the hospital.

“…Never one time did he show remorse, and that’s the part that’s the hardest for me. If I ever heard an ‘I’m sorry,’ it would sure help,” Levin said.

“Over 1,000 people were killed in the last month,” Levin said. “We are trying to pass laws to help with drunk driving, but it’s difficult because Texas is the big boy state.”

Parents of drunken driving victims attended the event to share their stories about the car crash that changed their lives forever.

La Porte Police Officer Benny Boles said paying attention to time of the day is essential in keeping the public safe from drunk drivers.

“Between 11 a.m. and 3 a.m., I want to stop as many cars as possible. Because statistically, between that time period, about half of the vehicles out on the roadway are impaired drivers,” Boles said.

Drivers get irritated when pulled over for minor infractions, but these stops deliberately check for drunkenness, Boles said.

Meanwhile, he said a DUI arrest is followed by an expensive process including a $5,000 minimum fine, at least one night in jail, three or four court appearances, and a yearly fee to maintain a driver’s license.

After a certain number of DUI’s, La Porte police officers take the offender’s car away, Boles said.

Students gathered to see the vehicles that included victims’ pictures set up on each car to emphasize each crash cost lives.

“It’s so terrifying to see this. You always hear about it, but you never really see it,” student Alyssa Flores said.

“It makes me feel lucky,” student Claudia Lechuga said, “and it’s also pretty scary to see what could have happened.”

The event sponsors gave students supplies to write graffiti messages to victims and their families in honor of those who passed away.

Messages appeared in different languages including Vietnamese, Spanish, and Arabic among others.

Student Andrew Ramirez translated a message written in Vietnamese that read, “Please don’t drink and drive because you can cause sorrow to other families.”

The messages, written on file folders hang by MADD’s offices downtown for everyone to see, Ramirez said.