Family of 18-year-old killed by a drunk driver: Have a plan, get home safe

Local News

ONEIDA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — “Thanksgiving Eve” is a popular night for partying. A family from Oneida County is reminding people not to get behind the wheel if you have been drinking.

The Lynskey family knows firsthand the destruction drunk driving can cause. Connor Lynskey, a native of New Hartford, was only 18-years-old when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver leaving a concert.

Deputies say Lynskey and his friends were heading back to their campsite at Darien Lake State Park following the concert. Lynskey ran ahead to catch up with another friend.   

Lynskey’s friends notified New York State Park Police officers when Lynskey didn’t return to the campsite.

Jennifer Serrano was arrested after the hitting Lynskey with her car in Aug. 2018. She was sentenced to a total of 4 2/3rds to 14 years in prison, the maximum sentence.

Wednesday, the Lynskey’s, members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and New York State Police reminded people to have a plan and get home safe. His best friend Manuel Zevallos says he misses Connor so much.

Manuel Zevallos speaks about his best friend Connor

“Connor was really a wonderful young man. He was studying to become a doctor,” said Donald Lynskey, Connor’s uncle. “He and his brother talked about opening practice together. He was an athlete, a scholar and he lit up the room everywhere he went. He was a great young man.”

State Police will have checkpoints throughout New York, making sure no one is drinking and driving.

“The State Police are not against going out and having a good time with family and friends and celebrating the holiday season,” said NYSP Troop D Major Phillip Rougeux. “If drinking is part of that, have a plan. Either have a designated driver, call an uber, call a taxi. Have a plan so a family such as this won’t have a tragedy to live with for the rest of their life.”

Donald Lynskey speaks about his nephew

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