NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — This weekend, people will be packing the French Quarter to attend Essence Festival and celebrate the 4th of July.
But that party could be cut short by one bad decision—if you drink and get behind the wheel. Ava Fontenot’s son and his friend were two of the many that die each year at the hands of drunk drivers.
“I remember him – he was sitting on the living room floor playing with the dog and then walking down the hall and he said he had to go and I said okay be sure to buckle up I love you and he was gone,” said Fontenot.
It’s a moment she replays in her head every day, not knowing it would be the last time she spoke to her son.
“I miss him every day and I know a lot of his friends and family do also,” said Fontenot.
It was July 2, 2010. 25-year-old Lindsey and his friend Raymond had gone out to Thibodaux.
Hours later, when they were driving back home, they were hit and killed instantly.
“It just breaks my heart now to know there were so many things that he had planned that he didn’t get to see come to fruition,” said Fontenot.
She says the man who killed them had a blood-alcohol level of .209. Lindsey and Raymond’s was 0.
“What happened to Lindsey and Raymond should have never happened,” said Fontenot.
12 years later and the problem continues to persist nationwide.
“201 people died in alcohol-related crashes from 6 pm on July 2 to 5:59 am on July 6 and drunk driving was blamed for 41% of traffic deaths over the long weekend,” said Sunny House with MADD.
House says when you drink and get behind the wheel there can be serious consequences.
“You become someone who has a weapon just as if someone were to have a loaded gun somewhere except this one weighs two tons,” said House.
Fontenot urges everyone if you plan on drinking, have a way to get home safely. She recommends a designated driver or getting an Uber, Lyft or a taxi.