HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBS 2) — The children of a Long Island man who was killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way are on a mission to spare anyone else the same nightmare.
As CBS 2’s John Metaxas reports, the family is trying to change the law to help prevent similar accidents.
Colleen Rey Cassar is a woman on a mission.
“The 16 days we sat in the hospital and watched my father suffer a heinous death, we just looked at each other and said, you know, ‘Why?’” she said.
Her father, 64-year-old John Rey died in the hospital a little more than two weeks after a fiery crash on the Long Island Expressway in Queens on July 5.
It happened when a drunk and stoned driver entered the highway on an exit ramp and drove the wrong way for more than two miles before crashing head on into the airport super shuttle van that Rey was driving.
“If he was not able to enter that exit ramp, my father would be alive today,” Cassar said.
The family is working with lawmakers to introduce what they hope will be known as “John Rey’s Law” — to enact measures to prevent wrong-way driving.
Perhaps suggesting flashing lights, GPS warnings, even spikes on the road, anything they said is better than doing nothing.
“We don’t other families to live through the pain and sorrow we have to,” Christopher Cassar added.
They said the hardest part of the entire ordeal is explaining to the children.
“To have to hear me have to explain to 5-year-old girl why he is not coming home or what happened to him. Or explain what a drunk driver is,” Courtney said.
Despite their grief, the family presses on, knowing their father would approve.
“I think he would be very proud,” Colleen said.
John Rey’s family is convinced the kind of law they envision would save lives and at the same time give their father’s otherwise senseless death some enduring meaning.
Prosecutors said the driver of the wrong-way vehicle that killed John Rey – 30-year-old Dave Richards — had a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit. Prosecutors are planning homicide charges.