Have you been affected by a hit and run crime or a traffic collision? Has a member of your family? A friend?
SAFE wants to hear and share your story. Submit your words (with a photo ideally) to and it will be shared via social media, our newsletter and our website.
The following is a news article written by Carmen Tellez, the mother of Andy Garcia (lost to a hit and run drunk driver).
It was May 2010 and the entire family was gathered and extremely proud to see Andy Garcia walk down the stage to receive his diploma from El Dorado High School.
He had earned several awards and distinctions for wrestling and had plans set to leave town to continue his education. All that any of us could see at this point was the excitement of a bright future ahead for Andy.
Andy moved to Los Angeles to pursue a degree in art from the University of California.
As any mother, I was proud, excited and nervous at the thought of his departure. I was proud he had the courage to make such a bold move to another state, excited for the new things he would see and experience and, at the same time, nervous. Nervous of any danger he might come across.
On September 14, 2013, my worst fear came true. I received a call of the horrible news that my son, Andy Garcia, had been hit and killed by a speeding, drunk driver.
I was hundreds of miles away and the time to get to my son felt like an eternity.
Andy was riding his bike home from work when the drunk driver hit and dragged his bike up a bridge for several hundred feet. According to witnesses, the driver never stopped and drove with sparks coming from under her car where she continued to drag his bike.
The drunk driver was 21 years old at the time. She served her short sentence for taking my son's life and she gets to continue to live her life freely while my son's life was taken way too soon.
As a reader, you may wonder why I'm bringing this story to you today if it happened nearly 4 years ago and in a city hundreds of miles from El Paso, my hometown. But as a grieving mother who struggled to write this, I share my story for one reason: to remind everyone that drinking and driving is a choice -- one that is preventable.
If you go out drinking, you have the ability to make the smart choice not to drive. I urge you to take a cab or find a designated sober driver if you decide to go out drinking.
We do not know what our future holds, but we can take a step to prevent an accident that could possibly take another's life, another mother's son or daughter.
-- Carmen Tellez