Local Family Pushes For Wrong-Way Driving Law

Family Of John Rey Eager To Get New Legislation Passed

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.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Dorrie says:

    Seven years ago my family endured the loss of three family members, while on vacation. My nephew was a sole survivor. He lost his grandmother, mother and brother in this tragic accident, not to mention his hospitalization for several weeks. It was the same scenario. A drunk driver entered a divided highway, going west on the east bound side. He lost his life also. We have many laws in place to prevent these tragedies, but once a person is intoxicated and gets behind the wheel, the laws mean nothing to them. Unfortunately, if they are not seen by the police or reported to the police there maybe more loss of lives. There is no easy resolution to this problem. My wish is that no one has to endure the loss of loved ones as did my family or John Rey’s. Thank you.

  2. Emeka says:

    May the soul John Rey rest in peace. I think the breath test attached to the ignition system is a better option. Once you are drunk beyond accepted limits the vehicle would refuse to start

  3. John says:

    Sorry that the family is suffering like this as a result of a careless individual but flashing lights mean nothing to a drunk and spikes won’t work either as police, firefighters and ambulances sometimes need to go the “wrong way” for one reason or another. Spikes might do more harm than good. I think

  4. Ravan says:

    Hertz Rental Car – for those that remember at the airports, installed those Tire Spikes to keep you out of certain LOTS. Install these at EVERY get-on RAMP, right next to the TAX-dollar-wasting DO NOT ENTER sign. What if I suddenly had a medical problem and got blurry vision, but managed to get onto the ramp thinking I was on my way home? These (pardon) “HERTZ STRIPS” would help save a life. It’s not a drunk person that always drives up the wrong way. It could help save someone you love that is having a medical problem that suddenly occurred. Also, think of it – these “STRIPS” will also force people to drive off the ramps at safer speeds. They’ll act like (speed) Get-Off Bumps.

  5. andrew says:

    and who pays for the enforcement of the new law? yet another example of people who want more government, but don’t understand that money has to come from somewhere. it’s tragic, but there is a law already in place it’s called dui. another law will not do anything more than the first law

  6. N R says:

    Not to take away from what a terrible situation this is, but do they really need to enact laws making it ‘illegal’ to enter freeways driving the wrong direction? I think spikes in the road sound more hazardous than the harm they may possibly prevent.

    I really don’t get the impression that people driving the wrong direction is that common of an occurrence / problem that such measures need to be taken to avoid it, personally.

    That does not mean that the grief this family is experiencing isn’t real and painful. My heart goes out to them, and I understand the need to validate his death by fixing the ‘problem’ that caused it. But it was not that the roads are hazardous, it is that people drink and do stupid things.

  7. nel says:

    i meant flashing lights

  8. Nel says:

    flashing light don’t mean anything to a drunk and stoned individual — SPIKE ON THE ROAD LIKE AT THE RENTAL CAR RETURN AT THE AIRPORTS would do the trick

    1. ALLAN NORRIS says:

      ITS SAD, AND I FEEL FOR THE FAMILY, BUT A DRUNK DRIVER DOESNT THINK, THEY WOULD EVEN DRIVE WITH FLAT TIRES. THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD WORK, IS A SAMPLE BREATH TEST WIRED INTO THE CARS IGNITION SYSTEM, AND EVEN THEN, THATS IFFY, THEY ALSO NEED TO CHANGE THE CHARGES FROM MANSLAUTER TOO MURDER ONE, IN THIS CASE.LAWS, TOUGH,VERY TOUGH LAWS IS ALSO NEEDED. MY HEART GO’S OUT TO YOU.

  9. sarah Bina (Iganga Uganda) says:

    That is wisdom for not revenging Dave Richards by John Rey’s family. what the family is doing is very good and that Law should be passed because it is going to help and save so many lives of people. Colleen must be a very brave girl and so important in the whole world if she can go on with such minds.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

WFAN Football Cruise Drip
1010 WINS Special

Listen Live