Vigil held on year anniversary of couple’s death; mother calls for harsher DUI penalties

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A local mother is calling for harsher DUI penalties on the anniversary of her daughter and son-in-law ‘s death. They were killed in a horrific crash at the intersection of Sahara and Hualapai in May 2018.

“They were just sitting at the stop light at Sahara and Hualapai waiting for the light to change and he ran into them at over 100 miles per hour. My daughter was crushed beyond recognition,” said Diane Malone.

Authorities say, Christa Puente and her husband Damaso died instantly in the wreck. On Wednesday night — the first anniversary of their death — family and friends met at the intersection to remember them. 

Malone is gearing up for the alleged driver Henry Aparicio’s trial. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“You actually have killed two people,” Malone said. “You have taken their lives completely away, and you have ruined the lives of their families and friends forever. You never get that back; ever.”

In 2017, there were 11,471 DUI arrests. In 2018, there were 11,804.

Malone has spent the past year working to help stop drunk driving.

“Since Nevada doesn’t have a Dram Law, there are places that serve way too much alcohol and know they do, and are not held accountable,” Malone said.

Nevada has a limited Dram Law, which means if someone under the age of 21 was served alcohol and caused injury to someone else, the person or business who served them could be held liable.

Aparicio was 23-years-old. 

“Nobody needs to drive drunk ever, and this is what happens to perfectly wonderful people taken senselessly,” Malone said through tears. 

Aparicio’s trial is expected to begin in August.

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