Students raise $21k for Kaely Camacho

March for Kaely to raise money for Mothers Against Drunk Driving

By Terrell Forney - Reporter

MIAMI - Students from Southwood Middle School in Palmetto Bay stepped out of class Wednesday and marched through the streets to remember a former classmate and raised $21,291.56 for Mother's Against Drunk Driving.

In April, 13-year-old Kaely Camacho was killed in a crash that involved a drunk driver.

Sixth, 7th and 8th graders wore T-shirts with Kaely's name as they participated in the Walk-A-Thon and chanted 'We Love Kaely.'

The girl's parents were also in attendance and marched with students who were trying to draw attention to the problem of drunk driving.

"It's heartbreaking but warm and comforting at the same time," said Kaely's father, Kirk Camacho as he spoke about the students' efforts. "It's going to help teach these kids at a young age what not to do to avoid these tragedies."

Every single student at Southwood was given the option to participate in the walk.

If they decided to join, students were asked to donate at least $5 to M.A.D.D.

"It's going to bring much awareness to the tragedy that we're going through," said Angie Camacho, Kaely's mother. "Hopefully it's going to save a lot of lives with these kids and they're going to think twice in the future about doing something so stupid."

Hundreds of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students participated in Wednesday's walk-- five weeks after Kaely was killed.

Kaely was riding in the back of her father's van when it was hit by a speeding SUV that ran a stop sign.

Police later arrested Sandor Guillen-- a man they say was drunk and tried to run away after the crash.

Guillen was driving in a bus only lane in Southwest Miami-Dade.

He has since been charged with Vehicular Homicide and DUI Manslaughter and is currently on house arrest awaiting trial.

Students placed blue balloons on poles and trees around the school to honor their former classmate whose life was cut short. 

"It's very touching. She was very loved. Kaely was really, really loved by a lot of kids. You can see that here today," said Angie Camacho.


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