COCONUT GROVE (CBSMiami) – The sister of a South Florida teen killed by a drunk driver spoke at a special ceremony to honor those committed to ending DUI crime.
Bree Ann Camacho shared her story Wednesday night at the Miami-Mothers Against Drunk Driving event.
Her younger sister, Kaely, 13, was killed in April 2012 when a speeding drunk driver slammed into the family’s minivan minivan at U.S.1 and SW 184th Street in Southwest Miami-Dade. Bree Ann and her father were in the car, both survived. She recalls being asleep when the crash happened, being woken up by a loud boom, then hearing silence when she called out for her sister and got no response.
“All I can remember saying is, ‘my sister my sister,’” said Bree Ann. “We waited for help and prayed for a miracle.”
While Bree Ann was being treated for a severe leg injury, Kaely was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital where she died.
“It’s really hard that I didn’t get to say goodbye,” said Bree Ann. “To know that someone so selfish could take away a life so innocent as hers is what angers me the most .”
During the MAAD Annual Recognition Ceremony hosted at Mayfair in the Grove, awards were given out as a thank you to Miami-Dade County police officers, private citizens, public officials and businesses that have shown extraordinary commitment to DUI prevention, enforcement and conviction.
Bree Ann also thanked the individuals who helped her family get through such an unimaginable tragedy.
“I honestly don’t think I could have gotten through a lot of what we’ve gotten through without all of the law enforcement,” she said. “They’re the ones who brought the evidence up and they worked so hard to show that this man [Sandor Guillen] is guilty and besides that, that’s their job, but the support that they have shown us, it’s so amazing .”
In March, Sandor Guillen was convicted of DUI Manslaughter. Guillen’s blood-alcohol level was nearly triple the legal limit. He was discovered walking, bloodied and evasive, in a field near the scene of the wreck and his DNA matched the blood on the airbag of the SUV that plowed into the Camacho family minivan, shearing it in half. Guillen was also illegally driving in the Miami-Dade busway when the crash happened.
Since Kaely’s death, her family has made it their mission to change minds and save lives by raising awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving. They hope Guillen receives a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison at his upcoming sentencing hearing on Friday.
“He deserves hopefully maximum punishment,” said Angela Camacho, Kaely’s mom. “Too often you see and hear of all these DUI cases and these defendants getting out on the minimum time that the law permits and the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”
“So that this will be an example to anyone who even thinks about drinking and driving, anyone who has ever drove drunk,” said Bree Ann. “Because we really need to make a change and it’s not going to be a change until they start getting the full maximum sentence.”