June 18, 2014

A recent celebration held on June 14 in Newport, Pennsylvania, paid homage to victims killed by drunk drivers. Last Saturday, the Perry County Fair Grounds hosted the seventh annual SuBeLex Memorial Festival in Newport. The name of the event is the combination of letters taken from the names belonging to three victims of a drunk driving accident that occurred on Oct. 14, 2002.

The tragedy that sparked the origin of the festival involved a car accident that happened in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, and resulted in the deaths of two victims and left another paralyzed. Following the accident, the family members of the victims and their friends organized the annual festival as a way to honor their loved ones while also bringing awareness to the problem of drunk driving.

One of the founders of the festival says that the non-profit typically brings in enough money each year to purchase things like DUI simulation goggles. The devices are then used to illustrate the dangers of drinking and driving at various drug and alcohol awareness forums throughout the county.

A local radio station provided the music for the festival, which also featured a blood drive hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank. Additionally, children’s activities were also featured, along with various craft vendors and other service organizations.

A highlight of the event was the presentation of bricks, which will be taken and put on display at the Pennsylvanian DUI Association’s Memorial Garden. Each brick is engraved with the name of a DUI victim before it is laid in the garden on Front Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. At the presentation, the speaker talked about a brick featuring the name of a York firefighter that they presented the previous year. The firefighter was struck and killed by a drunk driver as he was directing traffic.

Victims of drunk driving accidents should know that there are legal ways to recover compensation for injuries they suffered or for wages they may have lost from being hurt. Additionally, family members of people killed by drunk drivers may be able to sue for the loss of their loved one.

Source: The Sentinel, “DUI victims memorial festival held at Perry County Fair Grounds was emotional for many” Cara Sgrignoli, Jun. 15, 2014