TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -For many people, the holidays are a time to spend with loved ones. As families come together, one woman gave her daughter the only gift she could: Christmas decorations for her roadside memorial.
It’s a devastating reminder of what can happen when someone decides to get behind the wheel impaired.
Molly Steffens lost her 18-year-old daughter, Brenda, and Brenda’s best friend, 17-year-old Tracy Johnson, 33 years ago after a drunk driver heading the wrong way on I-10 near Kolb struck their vehicle head on.
“Can you imagine having one child a baby girl, you raise her for 18 years, then someone comes along and drinks too much and kills her? You can’t even fathom it. That day changed my life forever. Then my mom called me every day for three weeks and said, ‘Don’t let them be statistics’, and then she died of a stress-related heart attack,” said Steffens. “People think there’s a time limit for grief, but there isn’t when you’ve lost part of your heart. Even during COVID with the bars closed, [people] still have access to liquor through the grocery stores. So, [drinking and driving] doesn’t go away.”
Steffens used count the days until Christmas with her daughter. It’s been a blue Christmas ever since Brenda’s death.
She urges everyone who plans on drinking to stay home or arrange a safe ride.