Drunk driving prevention billboards use tragedy as deterrent - WNEM TV 5

Drunk driving prevention billboards use tragedy as deterrent

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Mary Frank can't forget the day two people died in front of her home 15 years ago.

"I heard voices outside. And when I looked out the window a van had stopped and ran into the telephone pole," Frank said.

October 15, 2000, Christopher Sandoval ran a red light at the intersection of Weiss Street and Hemmeter Road in Saginaw Township, hitting a van carrying Shannon and Heather Mayes at 100 mph.

The girls were on their way home from a pizza party after the Heritage High homecoming dance.

"It was horrible. There were kids coming for quite a while you know in memory of them," Frank said. "And hard to see it. It affected many of the neighbors around here."

Now, on Interstate 75, there are two billboards using their tragedy to help deter drinking and driving.

"I think it's great. It needs to be out there. They need to be remembered. They should be living their lives," Frank said.

The billboards read: "Because someone chose to drive impaired, Shannon and Heather will never... "

The billboards have pictures of life events the two would have experienced had they not died in the accident.

Sandoval is still in prison serving a 22-year sentence for his role in the accident.

Frank said there isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t think about the tragedy that took the lives of Shannon and Heather Mayes.

"I feel bad for the family. They lost their daughters and they should never have lost them. They had such futures you know. They had it taken away," Frank said.

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