Party and Graduation Safety Comes First

Prom holds lifelong memories, but I did not go. I played sports at high schools in San Joaquin County but graduated from Tracy High in 1993 in a wheelchair. I never planned to end school like that.

As my holiday letter of 2014 stated, a drunken driver hit me head on in 1992 when I was 16. I was in a coma and suffered paralysis, brain injuries, and broken and dislocated bones. I stayed seven months in two hospitals and 17 months with therapy followed. Not a life a teenager expects.

Some teens believe that drinking alcohol is mixed in with the fun. That is wrong, especially if driving is included. Why copy a drunken driver? Many of my hopes and dreams for my life vanished after a drunken driver hit me.

I cannot drive and hear perfectly now, but I can walk. That is a huge achievement for me considering my injuries.

My letters throughout California and speeches at schools in the Central Valley brought sober drivers to the roads. As a proud partner with the CHP, I am determined to make that continue.

A few of my friends attend UCSB and have learned to not drink and drive. Show us you have learned too: Do not drink and drive. This saves lives, including yours.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Iron Chef Caused State Street Pedestrian Death

Famous Chef Larry Forgione charged with misdemeanor for driving into Gilbert Ramirez on February 24.

Lavagnino’s Sudden Victory

5th District supervisor a shoo-in as filing window closes; Gregg Hart also unopposed for 2nd District.

One Half of Old Town Streets to Get Sidewalks

Walkways planned for one side of Goleta neighborhood streets; parking, lighting talks at community meeting March 22.

After Disaster in Montecito, Where Is All the Money Going?

Santa Barbara nonprofits account for millions spent on relief efforts.

Santa Barbara Experiences a Rainy March, but a Dry Year

Water year only 34 percent of normal for precipitation.