Courageous 12-Year-Old Sues Parents for Drunk Driving Accident That Killed Her Sister & Friend

angelIn November 2007, Faith Vadren-Carberry was riding in a car with her mother, Mary Carberry, her brother, John, her sister, Ava, 6, and her friend, Michaela Logan, 9. Mary, a chronic alcoholic who had interrupted her pub crawl to go pick up the kids from school, "blacked out" as the car plunged into an embankment. Ava and Michaela were killed; Faith was left seriously injured both physically and emotionally. 

Mary spent just four years in jail, and Faith, now 12, didn't believe that sent a strong enough punishment. So with the help of her grandfather, she sued both her mother and her father, Thomas Varden, who provided the car to Mary, even though she had been banned from driving due to previous drunk driving arrests.

While it's not the first time a child has sued a parent, it's one of the most justifiable cases I've seen. Good for Faith, and good for her grandfather for standing beside her even though it meant going against his own daughter.

Children place their health and safety into the hands of their parents and trust that they will protect them, but sadly they don't always do so. While as adults, we can refuse to get into a car with someone who is intoxicated, kids don't always have that choice or ability, and it's heartbreaking. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of the children killed in car accidents were riding with drunk drivers.

As for her father, he wasn't in the car at the time, but I understand her suing him as well, because he knew of Mary's alcohol problems, knew she would drive the kids in the car, and bought her the car anyway. He should have instead made sure his children were safe and not left in the care of someone who clearly couldn't care for them.

More from The Stir: Dad Arrested for Driving Drunk With 4 Kids Strapped to the Hood of His Car (VIDEO)

While the case was settled against her parents yesterday, the terms weren't released, and now the case will continue against the Motor Insurer's Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) -- the organization that compensates the victims of uninsured drivers in Ireland where the incident occurred.

No amount of money can undo what happened on that fateful day, bring those innocent children back, or make up for the losses Faith suffered. However, it can perhaps provide her with some sense of justice and send a message that many other parents need to hear about what can happen when you choose to drink and drive, especially with children in the car.

Do you think it was right for this girl to sue her parents?


Image via Mel B./Flickr

in the news, inspiring kids, kid health


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

Good for her! Kids should be able to hold their parents accountable when they do things such as MURDER their siblings.

amiec... amiecanflie

Couldn't agree more HistoryMama. 

Kimberly Graham

100% this girl was right and had EVERY right to sue her parents. Good for her.Taking away someones drivers license because of drunk driving is not enough,as you can see it does not stop them driving anyway.

Teresa Heifner

yes I do parents should pay for what negative things they do to there children. The little girl will live with the death of her sister and friend for the rest of her life. The mother will just continue to drink.

Amy Elizabeth Martin

Good for her! This is the best story I've read in ages. I feel so badly that she lost a sister and a friend but happy that she took a stand.

Laureen Mally

Good!!!! As an adult who 1. has children and 2. when I was a child my parents were drunk behind the wheel, many many time..I think she is outstanding and brave.

storm... stormystar15

Way to go faith! I applaud her and her grandfather and maybe her mom will think before she ever does it again and hopefully it'll make other parents who drink and drive with kids in the car rethink what they are doing.

Wendy Matthews Lucas

This is so sad. not only did she lose her sister and friend she has lost her parents also. This girl is very brave. Thank GOD she has support from her grandfather. My prayers are with her

Sally Hamer

Yes I believe She and the Grandfather did the right thing , I'm sure it was very hard for both of them to decide on this but at the same time they did what there heart told them too .. God Bless !!!


1-10 of 40 comments 1234 Last