Every time she hears alcohol may have been involved in a crash, Dawn Cortez says her heart breaks again.
“It breaks my heart because I know what the families are going to endure and their loss,” Cortez said.
10-years ago, her son Donnie was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver. The car crashed and Donnie was ejected.
“I had a knock on my door. I had three police officers inform me my son had been involved in a crash,” Cortez said. “I said my son didn’t make it did he. He said, no Mrs. Cortez, he died at the scene,” Cortez said.
She said numbness was replaced by anger and grief. Finally time combined with forgiveness helped begin the healing. But Cortez says discovering her mission of spreading an anti drinking and driving message has fulfilled.
“Hopefully I’ll touch that one life and they won’t get behind the wheel and they’ll remember my story and say hey, I’ll call a cab,” Cortez said.
Her main message is how accidents with alcohol are preventable. She encourages people to plan ahead and call a cab or a family member if they are out drinking.
“It’s a choice they make. Just like the night my son was killed, it was a choice they made. The driver and also my son getting in the vehicle,” Cortez said.
Alcohol is being investigated as a factor in a single car roll-over that killed three people just south of Fountain on I-25.
“My heart hurts for them,” Cortez said.