Family & friends of DUI crash victim share bold plea for change

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Friends and family gathered to honor the woman killed by a drunk driver Thursday; as their tears fell a bold call to action followed. 

56-year-old Christina Gates lost her life near West Sahara Avenue and South Jones Boulevard Wednesday. Investigators said 33-year-old Eileen Gonzalez was under the influence of drugs when she hit Christina’s Hyundai Elantra head-on. 

Now, as those who loved her move forward with indescribable grief, they told 8 News Now they want senseless tragedies like this to stop. 

“As a community we need to make this stop,” Christina’s father-in-law said of impaired driving crashes in Las Vegas. “We don’t need to see this often. We don’t need to see this week after week.”

“We need to stop this DUI in our city,” a pastor added during Thursday’s vigil. “Because this is not the first death that’s happened in the last two weeks.”

The crash that took Christina’s life is just the latest of several, deadly DUI crashes on our valley roads in as many weeks. 

In fact, Zero Fatalities Nevada reported a 16% jump in accidents involving drugs or alcohol across Clark County from 2017 to 2018. 

For a look at substance involved fatalities across our state click HERE.

“We’ve got to come together to make sure nothing like this happens again,” a pastor added at the vigil. “You see someone drinking, you are out and you know they shouldn’t drive; be the person to stand up and say you shouldn’t drive. Pay for the Uber. Pay for the Lyft. ”

Now, Christina’s friends and family hope to turn all this sorrow into action. They’re asking everyone to come together and join their effort, so no one else suffers the same fate. 

“God we pray that our sister’s life is not in vain,” the pastor concluded. 

8 News Now also looked at some national numbers. According to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, one person is hurt in a DUI crash every two minutes. What’s worse, one person dies in a DUI crash every 51 minutes across our country. 

For a closer look at national statistics from MADD, click HERE.

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