For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2019
Drunk Driving Victim’s Family Raises Awareness On The Dangers Of Drunk & Drugged Driving This Holiday Season
Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson South Medical Center Partners with Organizations in Hopes of Preventing Tragedy on the Roads this Holiday Season
Delia Foster, mother of Rachel Foster, killed by a drunk driver in 2016
Dr. Joyce Kaufman, UHealth trauma surgeon Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson South
Karen Baez, RN, service line director, ED/Trauma, Jackson South Medical Center
Helen Witty, national president, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Trooper Joe Sanchez, spokesman, Florida Highway Patrol
On June 19, 2016, 24-year-old Rachel Coleen Foster asked a neighbor to drive her to the Palmetto Expressway so she could help her boyfriend, whose car had run out gas. Foster arrived to her boyfriend’s stranded vehicle, and as she began pouring gas into the tank, she was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Foster had just given birth to a baby girl 19 days before.
“Since Rachel was killed, every day is now a struggle for us to find joy and gratitude on the little things in life,” said Delia Foster, Rachel’s mother. “But the holidays are a time where the knife in my heart feels even deeper. It is beyond what I can describe – feelings of sadness and desperation that come out of nowhere, in what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year.”
In April 2019, the drunk driver, Leonardo Morciego, pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson South Medical Center is partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to raise awareness about drunk and drugged driving in hopes of preventing tragedies on the roads this holiday season.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety, 29 people in the United States die every day in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 50 minutes.
This holiday season, MADD is asking drivers to display a red ribbon in a visible location in their vehicle to remind others to always designate a non-drinking driver.
On Wednesday, December 18, at 10:30 a.m., Foster’s mother will join Ryder Trauma surgeons and medical staff, along with representatives from MADD, and Florida Highway Patrol to encourage people to avoid drinking and driving during the holidays.
10:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Jackson South Medical Center
Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson South
Family Waiting Room
9333 S.W. 152 Street
Miami, FL 33157
Media will have reserved parking outside of the emergency department.
Jackson Health System
1611 N.W. 12th Avenue Miami, FL 33136