Nonprofit helps victims of drunken driving
By VALERIE SWEETIN
FOR THE CHRONICLE
The Rodriguez family had the most devastating news earlier this year when they learned their daughter, Krysta Rodriguez, had been killed by a drunken driver Feb. 11 at the intersection of Texas 6 and West Road.
That day to honor her, they decided to establish an organization designed to help families and victims affected by drunken driving.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, their nonprofit group, Krysta's Karing Angels, will host its first Enough Already fundraiser.
The public event will feature karaoke, games, raffle, food and DWI crash cars.
Texas had 27,108 alcohol-related crashes last year, causing 955 deaths and 17,542 injuries, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Krysta's father, Mark Rodriguez, who works with the North Montgomery County Fire Department, was in the area when he heard about the 2:15 a.m. crash.
He said her crash site is a sacred place."
Krysta, 22, was a 2006 Cy-Springs graduate. She was the passenger in a car on her way home and was killed on impact.
That is where I held her and kissed her last. This was totally avoidable. He took away our beautiful daughter," Rodriguez said.
After the accident, the family experienced a massive outpouring of support from friends, family and coworkers.
Rodriguez wants families who might not have that type of network to know they have a resource they can call on.
We have 500 total supporters and contributors. We were able to write grants and fill out an application with the IRS. Within two months, we were a 501(c) nonprofit. It's a shame we have to do this, but it happens everyday. We can have people helping families and victims within 24 hours," Rodriguez said.
The fire chief of North Montgomery County Emergency Services District No. 1 has known Mark Rodriguez for more than 15 years. He will be there to support the event.
As firefighters, we see the negative effect of DWI accidents all the time. Their goal is helping the victims' families and promoting awareness. Krysta was a great person with a huge personality and a ton of friends. She loved life and always had a big smile," Bob Robinson said.
Chris Fillmore, North Montgomery County firefighter, will be volunteering at the event. He has been a friend of the family for more than four years.
He said Krysta had been a little sister" to the men at the department. The goal of the organization will be a positive one he said.
We see the result of drinking and driving at least once a week," Fillmore said. With this event, families can know that there is a support group to talk to and get you through this. It's so needless that this happened because it's as easy as giving your keys to someone.
There are all kinds of ways to prevent this."
Details, go to www.krystaskaringangels.org.
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