How a drunk driver inspired Sen. Luján to back anti-DWI tec…

Otte, who lost a leg and had other severe injuries after an intoxicated boater ran her over when she was 13, briefly summarized what she had gone through. Then, finally, Luján talked about his accident.

“Alex, you’re the only one who’s going to understand this,” he told her, “but I still see headlights in my nightmares.”

“That conversation changed everything for me because he gets it,” Otte said. “He’s not here because we asked him to be here. He’s here because he wants to be here.” After the collision, Luján said he extricated himself from the vehicle, walking over in shock to check on the other driver, who was unconscious, slumped over the steering wheel. Then there was a moment of panic when Luján saw a car seat in the back of the vehicle. Luján was suddenly terrified that a child had been in the car. He scanned the area, looking for a child who might’ve been thrown from the car, terror mingling with the adrenaline from the crash.

Thankfully, there was no child in the car.

After that, he walked to a neighbor’s house and knocked on the door, asking them to call the police.

As he walked back to the car, he said he remembers the other driver coming to.

“Look at what you did to me,” Luján said the driver’s first words to him were. Luján told the driver he’d called the police. The man, knowing he’d be in trouble, stumbled off before the police arrived. They later found the man, who told police his family members had beaten him up.

“No,” Luján said he told police. “He was the person who hit me.”

That was the end of that night. But it was also the beginning.

Twenty- nine years later, Luján said he doesn’t remember what happened to the man. He doesn’t even know if he went to jail.

“I just wanted to get better,” he said, saying he spent the days after the accident dealing with whiplash and trauma.

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator