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Survivor of drunk driving accident speaks out in TxDOT PSA

1 month 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, June 29 2022 Jun 29, 2022 June 29, 2022 10:14 PM June 29, 2022 in News - Local

As a 4-year-old, Analicia Zarate survived a drunk driving accident that killed her mother.

“All I remember is getting buckled into a car seat and waking up in a hospital a week later,” the Edinburg native recalled. “There was a stop sign, and he didn't stop. A drunk driver took my mother from me."

Zarate still holds on to the pain of losing her mother.

“I wish that he could see the pain,” Zarate said. “I don't have to say anything - I just wish that he could see my face.”

Law enforcement Valley-wide are preparing for the holiday weekend by being on the lookout for drunk drivers.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 26 alcohol-related crashes during last year’s 4th of July festivities across the cities of Harlingen, McAllen, Edinburg, and Pharr. 

Two people died in those crashes.

The Edinburg, McAllen, and Pharr police departments - along with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office - announced they’re increasing patrols over the 4th of July holiday weekend in an effort to get drunk drivers off the road.

“Any holiday does bring out more people partying, drinking, and having barbecues, so we do see an increase - that's why we're out there,” Edinburg Police Department spokesperson Lt. Reynaldo Sepulveda said. “We want everyone to be safe. There's nothing wrong with consuming alcohol, just don't get behind the wheel.”

If you do plan to drink, Sepulveda recommends you make arrangements ahead of time, like staying at a friend's house or using a rideshare service. 

He also says sober drivers should stay vigilant.

“If you haven't consumed any alcohol, and you are out there on the roadway, make sure that you’re safe, and you look out for other vehicles on the road,” Sepulveda said. 

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