News & Press

Victim’s Mother Takes Part in DUI Drill

Friday, May 14, 2010 Source: WPRI.com

By Darren Soens & Danielle North

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) - The mother of a local drunk driving victim uses her own tragic experience to teach teens about the dangers of driving drunk.

On Friday, Cathy Andreozzi joined police and firefighters for a mock drunk driving crash outside Cranston High School West.

Andreozzi's daughter, Tori, was seriously injured in a hit and run crash caused by a drunk driver.

"I labored over the idea, 'Would people be uncomfortable knowing that I was a real victim mom?' But that's the point," said Andreozzi. "People should be uncomfortable because that discomfort they may have felt today is nothing compared to the real pain and hurt and loss that ensues when there's an alcohol-related tragedy."

Here is the scenario: It is a bloody scene outside the school. In the mangled wreckage of one car, a mock victim is dead on the scene.

In the other vehicle, two injured victims, one played by Eyewitness News reporter Danielle North, and the other by a high school freshman, wait for help.

"We wanted them to see it as it really happened," says Cranston Police Chief Marco Palumbo. "The accident, how long it took for emergency personnel to arrive at the scene, the pain that the occupants suffered during that time as the fire personnel cut the roof off the car to get them out."

And as crews worked to rescue the injured, the mock victims were covered with blankets to protect them from shattered glass.

The "victims" were then put onto stretchers, as a woman screamed in the background.

That woman was Cathy Andreozzi, who hopes her presence would help drive home the message that drunk driving is no laughing matter.

"The choices that they make dictate the moments in their life. And there are no do-overs. No do-overs."

Cranston police are hoping the students who witnessed the reenactment will remember the chilling scene, before they head out for prom night this weekend.

Extra patrols will be on the streets, to try to ensure that this prom night is a safe one.