Tragedy motivates mother to push for DWI checkpoint in Ontario County

(Provided photos)

It's a new type of DWI checkpoint unlike any other, and it aims to stop drunk driving by honoring the victims killed by them.

Sarah Palermo says her daughter was killed by a drunk driver in 2003. Now, she's working with Sheriff's deputies to share her daughters’ story with drivers.

Palermo was emotional Friday night as officers honored her daughter, Lindsey, who was killed in a drunk driving hit-and-run crash. She was 26.

“Lindsey was crushed to death,” Palermo recalled. “Laid in the road until the EMTs came to get her, and died an hour later with great destruction to her body. That’s the real story behind DWI. So I hope that this sobriety check point and all the others show that drunk driving is a really violent way to die.”

Now, instead of just a DWI pamphlet, officers are giving drivers a picture of Lindsey, and a story of her life.

“I want people to know that this is a real effect. Death is a real effect, and it could be their own, it could be the people they love.”

It’s not something she ever wanted to do, but she is here to make sure her daughters’ life is not forgotten, in the hopes of saving others.

“Lindsey would’ve loved that there’s a real effort to save lives and get the message out that life is very valuable and not to be taken for granted.”

Palmero hopes Lindsey's story will show quickly life can change.

“It is very tough, but I already survived the toughest thing, and that was losing her. And so to see these efforts in her name tonight, it does help give her life the meaning it was meant to have.”

Palermo plans to do more tributes with police to other victims of drunk driving.

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