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That 'Extra Drink'

January 15, 1988

Thank you for the story 'Tragedy on Broadlawn Drive" (by Beverly Beyette, Dec. 18). If only one person stops to think before taking that drink or turning that ignition key it will be wonderful. We all need these harrowing accounts until we do realize the high cost of this murder we tolerate and, all too often, write off as accident.

James Masoner regrets and is terribly sorry. Not all drunk drivers are remorseful, but they all view it as an accident. It is not an accident to take that drink and get behind the wheel. It is a conscious choice that all too often ends in death or crippling injury for the innocent. Please keep letting your readers know that drunk driving is not just another statistic. The costs on both sides are shattering.

Our wonderful 32-year-old daughter, Lisa Heerwald Graham, was killed by a drunk driver May 18, 1986. The driver, a 23-year-old welfare mother pleading guilty, was sentenced to one to three years for manslaughter, with a concurrent year for drunk driving. I won't attempt to tell you what Lisa meant to us, but the world ended. In the next 10 months my only sister and my beloved husband died. We lost the past, present and future. The driver is losing a short time out of her life. Whatever the costs to Masoner, he is alive for those who care about him.

I pray for the Shaner family, that they can build a life again. I know the emptiness they feel.

LYN L. HEERWALD

La Mesa

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