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Southwood Middle To Hold Memorial Walk For Kaely Camacho

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Kaely Camacho (Source: Perez Family)

Kaely Camacho (Source: Perez Family)

South Florida Crime

PALMETTO BAY (CBSMiami) – The family of 13-year-old Kaely Camacho, who died in a deadly hit and run accident by an alleged drunk driver, will attend a memorial walk in Kaely’s honor at her school on Wednesday.

According to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald, students at Southwood Middle School in Palmetto Bay will walk one-mile around the school in remembrance of their classmate who died in April.

The Southwood PTSA has teamed up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to host the event, according to Helen Witty, a program specialist and victim advocate with MADD.

Witty, whose 16-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver in 2000, sees the walk as a way to help students grieve the loss of a friend.

“I hope it will be healing,” she told The Herald. “I’m sure many of them are angry. This is a way for them to outwardly mourn a death, and it could empower them. It gives them something physical to do with their sadness, which is a really good thing.”

Last October, Witty delivered a speech to Camacho’s eighth-grade class in which she shared her daughter’s story and warned about the dangers of driving drunk.

Students were given pledge forms to raise money for MADD and the PTSA will give prizes to the biggest earners from each grade.

“This walk is to honor Kaely and keep awareness, not just of drunk drivers, but anyone who cherishes their kids,” Kaely’s father Kirk Camacho told The Herald. “In a split second, life changes as it did for us.”

Every student will have the opportunity to take a one mile Walk for Kaely on the sidewalk around the school. The 6th grade will walk at 9:45, the 7th at 10:30 and the 8th at 11:30.  The Camacho family will walk with Kaely’s 8th grade class and then together they will plant a tree in memory of their daughter, their friend.

Kirk Camacho was driving his minivan the morning of April 13th with his daughters Kaely and Bree Ann in the vehicle when Sandor Guillen slammed into them at U.S.1 and SW 184th Street in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Police said Guillen was driving 100 mph on the Miami-Dade busway. He has pleaded not guilty to DUI Manslaughter. Police said he had a blood alcohol level three times over the legal limit.

“If we could stop one person from making a stupid decision, that would be great,” Kirk said. “If this saves one life, that’s worth a lot.”

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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