Victims and families come together for MADD service

Last year nearly13, 000 people were killed in accidents involving a drunk driver.  Saturday, Mothers Against Drunk Driving held their annual "Celebration of Life, Remembrance and Hope."

At the event in Tyler were the family of those affected by a crash.  One of those in attendance Jesus Cardenas.  In June 2007 Cardenas was seriously injured, paralyzed from the waist down after Melinda Jackson ran her over.

"I got ran over by a drunk driver while I was working with my dad," said Jesus, "I didn't know that was going to happen to me but sometimes life is like that and you just got to keep going.

We asked him what he wished people knew about drunk drivers.

"They hurt people. It's not our fault to go through this because they drank and do all kinds of stuff. We don't have to go through this," Jesus said, "but I'm alive, even though I'm paralysed. Maybe one day God will let me walk again, maybe not. Still I'm alive."

"God gives me a lot of strength. I want to thank MADD for helping me. They helped me a lot. Remodeling my house. I thank all the doctors that helped me in the hospital. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here," said Jesus.

Melinda Jackson recieved a 10 year sentence for intoxicated assault, the maximum sentence allowed by the charge. In addition, Jackson will also serve two years on a seperate DWI charge.

The MADD event is to honor those lost, or injured while alerting the public of the real dangers of imparied driving. It expresses the hope for a future where no other family will have to suffer a loss from this preventable crime.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.