Sentencing by Jury Set to Begin in Camp County
Dustin Reaves (20) pled guilty today to a December 2009 crash that caused the death of Justin Sawyer (21) and injured Dana Gandy (18). A Camp County jury is set to hear evidence beginning at 9am Wednesday April 14th to determine Mr. Reaves punishment. Sawyer and Gandy were passengers of the vehicle in which Reaves was driving.
“On average someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. In 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in drunk driving related crashes”, Melissa Granberry, a Victim Services Specialist with MADD East Texas, states. “One in three East Texans will be impacted by drunk driving at some point in their life. For the Sawyer family this statistic is all too real. When a loved one dies in an alcohol related crash the grief is so intense due to the suddenness of the tragedy. There is also much anger and disbelief in knowing that the death or injuries that resulted from the crash were 100% preventable. Those factors, coupled with being thrust into the judicial system, thrusts families into a roller coaster of emotions. The Sawyer family has been given a life sentence without Justin and Dana will feel the effects of her injuries for the rest of her life.”
Dustin Reaves, who was underage at the time of the crash, also sustained injuries. MADD stated that “only 17% of impaired drivers who are injured in crashes are charged and convicted. 11% are charged and not convicted and 72% are never charged.” MADD pleads that those over the age of 21 drink responsibly and that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by impaired driving, or have concerns about drinking and driving in your community, please contact MADD East Texas at 1-888-665-6233. MADD offers services via the generous support of local donors and state and federal grants. These services include assisting those who have been affected by impaired driving through victim services, providing support to local law enforcement, educating youth through school presentations, hosting victim impact panels and working in our communities to bring awareness to the long lasting effects of underage drinking and impaired driving. Please remember to drive safe, sober and buckled up…..the life you save could be your own.
MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. MADD is a 501 (c)(3) charity with approximately 400 offices and 2 million members and supporters nationwide. Founded in 1980, MADD has helped save more than 330,000 lives. For more information, visit www.madd.org or www.madd.org/tx/east