EXCLUSIVE: N.J. Couple Uses Somber Anniversary To Continue Fight Against Drunk Driving
WARREN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey couple is taking action after losing two of their children to a drunk driver exactly 10 years ago.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported exclusively in Friday, they are taking aim at drunk drivers, and helping their victims.
Twenty-year-old Ashley Streiter had been the captain of her cheerleading team at Hanover Park High School and was studying special education in college.
Her 23-year-old brother, Billy, was a law student at Seton Hall University.
“They were unbelievably close and everybody knew how close they were,” Debbie Streiter said.
Their lives came to an end together on a rainy night a decade ago Friday on the Garden State Parkway. A drunk driver crashed into them as they sat in their disabled car in the north-bound lanes.
“I don’t think there is a minute in the day that I don’t think about them,” Streiter said.
For Debbie Streiter and her husband, time hasn’t numbed the pain.
“It’s 10 years, but it’s so raw and so fresh,” Debbie Streiter said.
“We have a strong religious faith that we will again see them in another life,” Bill Streiter added.
But out of a tragedy they are finding comfort, opening up a resource center on the anniversary of their deaths for drunk-driving victims. And they named it after Ashley and Billy, as well.
“We had no place to turn and this new center, hopefully, will help a lot of people,” Debbie Streiter said.
The Billy and Ashley Drunk-Driving Resource Center will be run out of New Jersey’s Crime Victims Law Center, led by Richard Pompelio, whose son was murdered. And all of it is free.
“Any legal issues, any personal issues, we will address them,” Pompelio said.
According to their mother, Billy and Ashley Streiter were inseparable from childhood. The center in their memory will be a reminder of how kind and generous they were in life.
The law and resource centers are completely funded by Pompelio, and rely on donations and fundraisers.
The Streiters have also raised thousands of dollars for 57 scholarships they have given out to students over the years.
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