The numbers, though they provide a dimension to tragedy, are cold.
The Nebraska Office of Highway Safety reports that in 2012, 87 people died in drunken driving accidents on state roads and highways. More than 1,200 people suffered injuries. Eleven teen-agers died in drunken driving crashes.
First Lady Sally Ganem urges Nebraskans to look beyond the numbers to understand the true scope of this tragedy.
“We often hear the numbers of crashes. We often hear from traffic safety the numbers and they are more than numbers,” Ganem says in a news conference. “They are actually people. They are lives totally destroyed from this preventable crime that happens.”
Todd Calfee of Palmyra and his wife felt the full sting of the tragedy two years ago when a drunk driver killed their daughter and her boyfriend.
“Her and her boyfriend were doing absolutely nothing wrong, just driving home from a date in northern Nebraska when a six-time convicted drunk driver crosses the road and killed both of them,” Calfee says.
First Lady Ganem, a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s National Board of Directors, is hosting the Mothers Against Drunk Driving National Victim Assistance Training Institute today and tomorrow in Lincoln. The meeting will focus on enhancing MADD Victim Services for the victims and survivors in rural communities.
MADD serves more than 63,000 victims and survivors each year with emotional support, assistance in navigating the legal system as well as information about crime victim compensation.
For more information about MADD Victim Services, go to madd.org/victim-services.