A mother of four is facing manslaughter charges after killing two of her children and injuring two more while driving drunk with them in the car. It isn't the first time we've heard of this type of tragedy, and it definitely won't be the last. Because although by now every single person in the country should know without a doubt that drunk driving is dangerous and can be lethal -- people still do it. Even though every mom probably heard the story of Diane Schuler, who drove the wrong way down the Taconic State Parkway, killing eight people, including her daughter and three nieces, moms will still drive drunk with their kids in the car. Why?
Crystal Suniga, 30, reportedly had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit when she lost control of her SUV with her four kids inside while driving near Irving, Texas.
In the car were her two sons, ages 14 and 10, who died at the scene. Her other son, 16, and her daughter, 12, survived but have severe injuries. Crystal was thought to have been traveling well above the speed limit.
What would make a mom put her kids in jeopardy like this?
Addiction. A feeling of invincibility. A lack of judgment thanks to the alcohol itself. Habit. Selfishness. Ignorance. An "it can't happen to me" attitude. A feeling of being overwhelmed and worthless and that the only thing that can help are some drinks.
You name it.
This isn't to excuse what she did. I've been a child in a car with a drunk adult. It's one of the scariest things in the world knowing that you are completely at the mercy of someone who clearly does not have your best interests in mind. It's terrifying to not know if you should try to jump out of a speeding car.
These children in all likelihood knew what was happening -- and they were scared. But by that point, they didn't know what to do or couldn't do anything.
But I also do feel some sympathy for the mother, because surely she did not mean to kill her children. She will be suffering for the rest of her life. So will her surviving two kids. And, then, of course, there are the children who had their whole lives ahead of them and had them snatched away by the person who should have protected them. Tragic.
Please do NOT drink and drive.
Image via NBC5