Annette Barrera remembers very little of the day she became a victim because of alcohol.

Six years ago I crossed the road at a traffic light in the city of Lynwood with some friends, her sister and her aunt when she was hit by a drunk driver who fled.

“I only remember when I woke up in the hospital and they told me that a car had run over me and I was in a coma for 71 days,” said Barrera, who is now 26 years old. “I was very afraid and at that time I did not understand what was happening to me. Life changes in the blink of an eye. ”

The girl was left with a brain injury and right hemiparesis, which means that her right side is weakened and she must walk with a walker. Nor can it move the toes of the right foot and cannot shed tears.

"Sometimes I can't control my right leg and I had to learn to write again because I was writing with my right hand but now I don't have the strength," she added.

Barrera said that when his accident happened, the Sheriff's agents were very close who managed to capture the drunk driver shortly after.

"Fortunately, it was only me who received the blow but it still hurts that my sister, then 12 years old, saw everything and has also been affected," he said.

Annette Barrera, 26, was the victim of a drunk driver who hit her when she was 18 years old. (Jacqueline García)

The young woman, of Latin roots, said she felt very fortunate to have survived the terrible accident and therefore wants to carry a message of fun and responsibility in this Super Bowl weekend.

"It's very easy to decide not to drink and drive … I implore you not to do it because it can definitely have a bigger impact than anyone could imagine," said Barrera.

Patricia Rillera, state representative of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), said alcohol continues to be the number one cause of road deaths.

And now it gets more complicated because of the different types of drugs that mix with alcohol.

"We must continue educating people and let them know that if they are going to have activities where they will include alcohol and / or drugs that designate a sober driver," he said.

"It is a message that we never tire of repeating because there are still more than 10,000 people dying each year (in the United States) due to the impaired driving."

Annette Barrera, 26, was the victim of a drunk driver who hit her when she was 18 years old. (Jacqueline García)

Captain Francisco Sandoval, of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) at the Los Angeles downtown station, said yesterday that the helicopter crash of the former Lakers player, Kobe Bryant, has felt all the way up with his fans . But the accidents of the streets that leave dead are equally devastating.

"You have to think that although it is not a loss globally (like Bryant) there is a circle of family, parents, uncles, brothers who have to live after this tragedy," said Sandoval. "It's a very profound impact that affects families."

Statistics show that in 2019 25 deaths were reported after the celebration of the Super Bowl in California. In 2018, 38 were reported and in 2017, 43 deaths.

“The Super Bowl has a history of celebrating with family and friends. And that's fine but you have to plan, get someone to drive or take an Uber or Lyft, ”said Captain Sandoval.

Monica Peláez, representative of the Auto Club of Southern California, said they are struggling to remind the public that they should not drink, use drugs and drive.

“Have a game plan, a plan that includes returning to your healthy families. It is something that is preventable, ”said Pelaez.

To have a fun and trouble-free celebration, local representatives recommended that people consider “mocktails” that are drinks with flavors of natural and concentrated fruits but without alcohol.

A professional barista was present to demonstrate some drinks that included the colors of the Super Bowl equipment and even a special drink with the colors of the Lakers in honor of Kobe Bryant.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here