POSTED: Monday, October 11, 2010 - 6:26pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 10:38pm
Arturo Huerta lost two of his daughters to alcohol-related crashes in two separate car accidents. Today is the anniversary of his youngest daughter's death.
"For someone to knock on your door and notify you that your child has been killed and you have to go identify the body - it's devastating," Huerta said.
If its devastating once, what word could describe what is like to have the same thing happen a second time? His oldest daughter, Denise, was killed by a drunk driver in 1994. Unbelievably, his youngest daughter, Selena, was killed by a drunk driver just three years later on October 11 - a day after her 18th birthday. Huerta says the driver who was drunk had already had two DWI's.
"He was driving drunk and he slammed right into them," he said. He couldn't go into details involving the case, but Huerta says the driver was acquitted. Huerta now visits schools to share his story, even if it means revisiting the past.
"This is a pain that no parent should ever have to go through," Huerta said. "We're not supposed to survive our children."
"Drunk driving is not a seasonal thing," said Virginia Gonzalez, the executive director of the west Texas branch of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "It is happening every day." She's lobbying for sobriety checkpoints to become legal in Texas.
"Those have been proven as a key deterrent in states which they are allowed," she said.
Huerta argues that something must be done to protect other families from a grief that never goes away.
"Why, why me, why us, but it's something that will never be answered."
Drunk driving has already accounted for 27 deaths in El Paso this year alone, according to police. Over 2500 people have been arrested for driving drunk.