Woman hopes annual vigil saves lives - FOX 13 News

Woman hopes annual vigil saves lives

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

For four years, Ginger Brengle has been coming to the intersection of 22nd Avenue and 9th Street. For hours, she stands there, holding a sign -- something she probably wishes she didn't have to do.

It's what happened on this day that changed her family. It's something hard for any family to understand.

Elroy McConnell, 51, and his sons, 28-year-old Elroy III, 24-year-old Nathan, and 19-year-old Kelly were all killed in a crash. Police say a man, driving drunk and high, blew through a red light at 80 miles an hour and slammed into their car.

It happened back in 2010, and August 1 hasn't been the same for their families.

Two of the men left behind young children. The third victim was recently engaged.

Ginger comes out to that spot every year, holding her sign both to honor her cousins' memories and to use this anniversary as a reminder to others that this is what a drunk driver can do.

"I'm hoping to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence," Ginger explained. "I believe people tend to look the other way, stick their head in the sand, and think, 'This could never happen to me.'"

It's a reminder, she says, to designate a driver or get a cab if you need it -- a move that could be the difference between life and death.

"They had plans for the future that were cut short by this selfish act," she added.

Authorities arrested and charged the driver in the crash, Demetrius Jordan. He is serving 44 years in prison.

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