Grief-stricken teen delivers heart-wrenching 'Don't Drink and Drive' message
Preventable drunk driving crashes increase during holiday season, activists say
MIAMI – This Christmas will be the third Bree Ann Marie Camacho will spend without her little sister. The grief-stricken teen said Tuesday she fears a drunk driver may cause another tragedy this holiday season.
In hopes of raising awareness, the teen was at a press conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital. She told the heart-wrenching story about how she survived a crash involving a drunk driver, but her 13-year-old sister didn't.
"I was robbed of my teenage years. I was forced to grow up quickly, because you can't be a normal girl without your teenage sister," the 19-year-old said Tuesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center.
Camacho said the morning of April 13, 2012 was the last time she saw her little sister, Kaely, alive. It was about 5 a.m. Their dad, Kirk Camacho, was approaching U.S. 1 on Southwest 184th Street.
Sandor Guillen, a physical therapy assistant from Coral Gables, was behind the wheel of a black Range Rover on U.S. 1. He shouldn't have been. Later police would learn Guillen was driving with a .226 blood-alcohol level -- nearly triple the legal limit.
Camacho said his light was green. Bree Ann Marie said she heard what sounded like a bomb exploding. She was covered in glass and then heard her dad yelling her sister's name. She couldn't get out of the car. She saw her sister, who had been in the back seat sleeping, was covered in blood.
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When Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived, a plastic cup holder had split Kaely's skull. Paramedics airlifted her to Ryder Trauma Center. Police said evidence showed Guillen was going so fast he crushed the back of the van.
Guillen walked away from the scene and when police found him told police his injuries were from an unrelated attack. Police found his blood on the Range Rover's airbag.
On March 3rd, a Miami-Dade jury found Guillen guilty of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and leaving the scene of an accident involving a death. The 39-year-old was sentenced to 20-years in prison.
It's a tragedy that the teen hopes to prevent by telling her story, as many times as she is asked to. Her videos on YouTube had thousands of views, and other YouTube users shared them on their accounts.
"We can save lives. This isn't supposed to happen," the tearful teen said on a video nine days after the crash. "We need to stop drunk driving."
Years later, her message and the pain in her eyes hasn't changed. Two days before Christmas Day, she talked to South Florida reporters, and representatives of Florida Highway Patrol, The American Automobile Association and Mother's Against Drunk Driving.
At the event, FHP had a rollover crash simulator meant to show how wearing seat belt saves lives. AAA had reminders about their free Tow To Go program, which helps drivers get their cars home when they can't with one phone call to 1-855-286-9246.
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