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New York families that lost loved ones in car accidents unite

He was 28 years old when the end of his life arrived. The young man who wanted to be a police officer died was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his drunken friend when it slammed head on into a tractor trailer.

A relative at a recent fundraiser for victims of drunken drivers told the story. Like so many others who have lost loved ones, she refuses to use the word "accident" to describe the preventable, fatal crash.

That is what links all crashes caused by drunken drivers: all of the collisions that caused heartache, property damage, injuries and fatalities could have been prevented.

The stories spill out of the family members gathered at the New York fundraiser called Walk Like MADD. A woman tells the tale of how she lost her brother on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It began simply enough, she says.

Her 34-year-old brother had been in a fender bender and had gotten out of his vehicle on the bridge. Another car came by and struck and killed the young man.

His death has broken the heart of his mother and left "a hole in our family that will never be filled," his sister says.

Those kinds of voids can never be repaired. But some families can find solace in the pursuit of justice against the perpetrator. With the help of a wrongful death litigation attorney, they can hold the drunken driver accountable and send a powerful message to others who might be tempted to drink before getting behind the wheel.

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