Man on mission after daughter killed by drunk driver

July 1, 2011 7:21:15 AM PDT
A father is on a mission after his daughter was killed in a drunk driving crash. He doesn't want other families to lose their loved ones in the same way and with the July 4th holiday coming up, he says people need to think twice before drinking and driving.

After Mark Rodriguez's daughter was killed by a drunk driver, he founded the non-profit Krysta's Karing Angels and he's now fighting to change what he calls a social norm.

Hauling around crashed vehicles on a flatbed is now part of a mission for Rodriguez.

"It's been rough, but it's something that needed to be done," he said.

On February 11, 2010 his daughter Krysta, riding with her boyfriend, was hit and killed by 41-year-old Christopher Boyd, who was allegedly driving drunk with his lights off. His pickup T-boned Krysta's vehicle. The 22-year-old was pronounced dead on the scene.

After rushing to the scene that morning, Rodriguez, also a Cy-Fair firefighter, felt it was time to fight back against what he perceives as a social norm.

"Drinking and driving and driving drunk is socially acceptable at this time, and as a society that's what we need to change. We are going to change it. It's selfish and it's irresponsible and you can't do it," said Rodriguez.

And this upcoming Fourth of July weekend several area counties will be out in force trying to prevent another story like Krysta's. It's a no refusal weekend.

"If you are arrested for drunk driving, if you refuse to provide a breath sample when asked by police, we will obtain a blood search warrant and we will take a sample of blood," said Catherine Evans of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Harris and Montgomery counties say no refusal weekends are preventing DWI accidents. And as Rodriguez continues to haul around vehicles mangled in DWI accidents, he feels he is honoring his daughter's legacy.

"We have our share of crying, but the more we go out and take our four crash cars... it kind of makes us feel better in a weird way, that we are honoring Krysta," Rodriguez said.

The four vehicles Rodriguez uses that are donated do not include the one in which his daughter was killed. He says it's still too tough for his family to look at her vehicle.

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