Mother holds vigil to raise awareness for daughter killed in wrong-way drunk driving crash

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Samantha Reynolds was 14-years-old when she was killed by a drunk driver who plowed into the family's van on a South Carolina highway while they were traveling to Walt Disney World.

Her mother, Tracy Woodmancy is holding a vigil on Wednesday, which marks the anniversary of her daughter’s death. She says the vigil is about much more than just her daughter— she wants to raise awareness of the impact that drunk driving can have.

"I want people to know my story because i don't want another person to go through what I go through everyday,” she said.

For 3,287 days, she has been living without her daughter. She says looking at photos of the crash scene is difficult, but she does it because she wants to raise awareness and doesn’t want other people to have to go through what she did.

Woodmancy has been holding gatherings each year on the anniversary of her daughter's death to remember the 14-years of her life, but also to make a point.

It's why she invites everyone— whether they knew Samantha Reynolds or not to— attend Wednesday night’s vigil as a way to get the message across about the dangers of drunk driving and how easy it is to prevent the suffering it can cause.

"Have a plan. Know how you're going to get home.  Don’t be a drunk driver, don't get in a car with a drunk driver,” Woodmancy said.

Samantha Reynolds’ family has been forced to deal with the aftermath of such reckless behavior, which is why Woodmancy is on a mission to prevent as many others as she can from experiencing it too, because the hurt is something that may ease, but can't be erased.

"The stories get old, the pictures get old, but the pain still remains and it never goes away,” she said.

The vigil will be held Wednesday night at 7:30 at the Butterfly Garden of Hope on Onondaga Lake Parkway.

The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the state Stop DWI Foundation have created the "Have A Plan" mobile app.

This app enables you to locate and call a taxi service, program a designated-driver list, educate yourself on blood alcohol content levels as well as information on DWI laws and penalties or even report a suspected impaired driver.

Click here for more information on downloading the app. 

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