MADD walk raises awareness in Las Cruces
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Mothers Against Drunk Driving hosted the first-ever Walk like MADD fundraiser in Las Cruces Saturday morning at La Llorona Park.
About 200 people participated in the 5k walk-run, some walking in memory of their loved ones.
"At the drop of a hat any of us can be in tears because of thinking of him," said Donna Tapia, cousin of Gabriel Montoya who died after a drunk driving crash in 2002.
Tapia and her family wore orange shirts with a drum set and Montoya's picture on them as they walked in his honor.
Montoya was a junior at Mayfield when he died.
"Every milestone that everybody else went through, graduation, college, marriage, none of that is ever going to happen," Tapia said.
What makes it worse for Tapia and her family is Montoya's death was preventable.
"It was a repeat offender early in the evening, it should have never happened," Tapia said.
MADD Executive Director Lora Lee Ortiz said 154 people in New Mexico were killed in drunk driving crashes last year.
"Each and everyone of us has a responsibility to contribute to making sure we end DWI and save our families and keep our communities a great place to live, work and play," Ortiz said.
MADD is working to change the culture of drinking and driving by helping raise awareness for underage drinking and making sure those who do go out, have a safe plan to get home.