EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As the community continues to grieve the deaths of three children in a Northeast El Paso crash, local advocates remind the community not to drink and drive.
As KTSM previously reported, alcohol played a part in Sunday’s tragedy.
In light of that crash, another mother who also lost her son to drunk driving shares her story and message to the community.
“You know I pray for these people, these children,” said Patricia Hoff, a mother and Victims Impact Panel member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). “It just breaks my heart every time someone is added to our club.”
Hoff said she lost her son at the hands of a drunk driver in 2014. Since then, she’s worked tirelessly to share her story in the hopes of saving lives.
“I go and talk to people who are offenders — whether they be first time offenders, second, third — and I’m just there to help them, tell them my story because I don’t want anyone living my life,” Hoff said.
The non-profit organization MADD shared a sobering reminder to the community after police say alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash where three kids died.
“They’re probably good people they just made bad choices and so they didn’t intentionally mean to do anything to their children or anybody they just — it just happened,” Hoff said.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation statistics, 20 people died in crashes involving alcohol in El Paso in 2019.
MADD said when parents are drunk behind the wheel, parents may forget to properly buckle in their kids.
“It is our responsibility to be able to protect them and safety seats, car safety seats is the No. 1 way to keep us safe and putting on our seat belts,” said Vanessa Luna-Marquez, MADD Program Director of El Paso.
As the memorial continues growing for the children at the crash site, Hoff shared a message to the community.
“It’s 100-percent preventable and unfortunately people still constantly get behind the wheel and drive while they’re drunk,” Hoff said. “It’s only because they don’t think they’re drunk; they think they can handle it, and they can’t.”