We miss her dearly and think of her with love every day.

for all the animals she was able to enjoy. Amanda and I were very close, and even tighter due to her struggling with anxiety and ADD. Losing her made me realize I lost my best friend— my precious daughter whom I spoke with daily. I can’t explain the loss, or the hole that remains from the depths of pain knowing she’s no longer with us. She was a loving daughter, good friend, and a joy to be around. Our family has been tremendously impacted by the loss of our daughter. Our family was very close and loved traveling together across the US. My son has also lost his mom and dad as he knew us. I don’t think anybody can understand the pain of losing a child unless you’ve been through it. I doubt the pain will go away. It is always with us, and I think we learn to live with it no matter how much time passes. We spend a lot of time honoring Amanda and by doing things in her memory. The criminal court process was a painful experience that went on for almost a year. We were determined to go to every court hearing, although many were continued. However, we were appreciative of our DA, and the work he did in Amanda’s memory. I was thankful for the support we received from MADD, plus assistance from a court victim advocate. Too many times I have heard of other offenders of drunk and drugged crashes not receiving sentencing for their crimes; therefore, I am thankful we received a prison sentence, even though it was not enough for the loss of our beautiful daughter. The driver was sentenced to eight years with two years suspended. In Colorado, there’s an automatic 50% off for good behavior; therefore, the driver would serve three years instead of the full sentence. Since the driver spent a year in jail

prior to sentencing, they gave him credit for time served, which reduced his sentencing to two years in prison. He was up for parole last March but was denied. I think part of the denial had to do with the statement we made to the parole board. One and a half years in prison wasn’t long enough before he was due for parole. Thankfully, my husband and I supported each other through this and had wonderful family and good friends who were there during this heart-wrenching process. We are thankful for our MADD victim advocate, for helping us through this criminal process. One of the first things she did for us was help obtain a sign in Amanda’s memory at the crash site. She took the time to meet and support us through the entire criminal process. She went to hearings and remained in touch with us. We also appreciate the opportunities MADD provided to honor and remember Amanda, such as participating in Walk Like MADD and sharing Amanda’s story in the MADD Cannabis Report. Drunk or drugged driving is purely a reckless decision that is conscious and not an accident; it is a reckless choice made by an individual. The driver was high from marijuana. Colorado is a marijuana state, yet the driver was 19. There is no reason to drive impaired with access to Uber, Lyft and rideshares, especially when the results of those decisions can be devastating, and—or deadly. It is our mission now to honor Amanda and do things in her name and memory and help solve this huge issue around substance impaired driving. I try to share Amanda’s story with parents or guardians who have young drivers, hoping her experience makes a difference in others, makes people stop and think, even if it’s one person.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving ® 11

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