Man recounts alcohol-related crash that killed son ahead of celebrations

Matthew Jimenez, 7, died in 2006

SAN ANTONIO – It's the time of year for celebrations. Fiesta kicks off next week, prom season is in full swing and graduation parties will soon be taking place. More than 100 people ages 12 to 20 died in alcohol-related crashes in Texas in 2015, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Eddie Jimenez won't be seeing one of his sons go to prom or graduate high school. Instead, he is living with the memory of the night 7-year-old Matthew was killed in a drunken driving crash in 2006. The wreck happened near Palo Alto College.

"She's going 90-95 miles per hour," Jimenez recounts of the driver. "She comes up behind a vehicle that's in front of her, goes to go to the left lane to go around. (Police) say that's what happened. She went too far to the left, hit the median, went airborne and landed on top of our car."

During last year's Fiesta, San Antonio police made 233 driving while intoxicated arrests. However, there haven't been any Fiesta-related alcohol fatalities in the last six years, and law enforcement would like to keep it that way.

"Plan to take a taxi. Plan to take a ride share. Plan to take a VIA bus. Stay where you are. There's so many options available. There really is no excuse to put people's lives in danger," Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

Jimenez shared his story hoping no one else has to feel his anguish.

"I want the people that are celebrating out there — Fiesta, prom and all this other stuff that's going on — make sure that you have a plan to finish that journey home. Do it safely," Jimenez said.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. If you're a parent who needs resources speaking to your child about alcohol, click here.


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