It’s that time of the year again. You may not be able to listen to the radio or watch television without coming across an ad warning you about the dangers of drinking and driving this holiday season. We are reminded so much that the importance of message may begin to fade in our minds as we think to ourselves “we get it already!” This holiday season we’ve put out a few statistics, and made the warnings and consequences loud and clear.
However, we think we can do better.
Today we would like to focus on the “face of drunk driving”, real people, that have gone through real tragedy. We encourage you to take a few moments to imagine how your life would be affected if choosing to drink and drive resulted in such tragedy. Your world and the world of others turned upside down, all because of one irresponsible decision.
Meet Xitclalli Vásquez, known as “Chili”. A seven year old girl soon to be eight in just three days. Looking forward to her big day she heads out with her aunt to go get her hair and nails done. That same day a drunk driver in a stolen vehicle is heading the wrong way down a busy street, who is about to change Chilli’s and her family’s life forever. Following a head on accident, Chili is not spending her birthday as she imagined. With her family by her side wondering if she will ever walk again or even live, Chili spends her days in the ICU. After a long recovery, her diagnosis, a complete paraplegic.
Chili proves to be anything but ordinary as she takes the time to write a letter to the man who has caused her such pain. She expresses her struggles, thoughts, and feelings through her recovery. It doesn’t end there, Chili continues on to invite her offender to meet her and her family.
See the full letter from Chili.
This accident leaves Chili and her family struggling in some way everyday. From medical bills, to finding enough time to care for Chili and her siblings, her mother takes on the aftermath of the accident. As for Chili, some days she is sad and depressed.
We hope this tragic story will prevent you from getting behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. . The devastation that one wrong choice can cause is never worth putting your keys in the ignition while under the influence.
Her mother, terribly shaken and grieving by what has happened expresses that she wishes it was her instead of her beloved daughter. Chili’s mother also expresses that she wonders if this drunk driver realizes what he has costed her daughter and her family.