Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Team DUI vigil remembers victims

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Wendy Jensen shared her experience of being a drunk driver in a near-fatal DUI crash. Photo by Glen Erspamer Jr.

 

 

 

CLEARLAKE – Community members and officials gathered at Clearlake's Austin Park Thursday night to remember the victims of drunk driving crashes.


The evening vigil – where candles weren't possible due to windy conditions – was led by Larry Fanning, pastor of Clearlake's First Baptist Church and a member of Team DUI, the event's host.


Those speaking during the evening included Dr. Bill MacDougall, Chris Tyner, Lake County Sheriff's Capt. Russ Perdock, Wendy Jensen and Leslie Thomas.


It was an emotional evening as the speakers recalled situations where DUI had taken some lives and shattered others.


Perdock told a very emotional story about a crash 20 years ago on Dam Road that claimed the lives of three teens. He said the crash was forever burned into his memory, and affected not just him but the entire community.

 

Jensen shared a different perspective – she had been the drunk driver in a DUI crash, and almost killed a man when she ran into his car. She has since become an active member of Team DUI, and works to raise awareness of the consequences of drunk driving.

 

Leslie Thompson was hit by a drunk driver while coming home from a work-related reception with co-workers. She broke both of her legs, and watched the passenger of the drunk driver's vehicle die on the hood of her car.


The vigil ended with a moment of silence for all that have been lost or affected by drunk driving, with Fanning saying a prayer afterward. Local high schoolers also offered songs during the remembrance.

 

 

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Dr. Bill MacDougall, superintendent of Konocti Unified School District, spoke at the Thursday evening vigil. Photo by Glen Erspamer Jr.

 

 

 

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From left, Chris Tyner, Wendy Jensen, Russ Perdock and Paster Larry Fanning at the vigil in Clearlake on Thursday, April 2, 2009. Photo by Glen Erspamer Jr.

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