BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A family is left heartbroken after three of their youngest family members were killed by an impaired driver. They are encouraging others to drive responsibly for the upcoming New Year festivities.
Lindy Simmons, 20, Christopher Simmons, 17, and Kamryn Simmons, 15, were killed in a car crash on Dec. 17, 2021.
Their mother Dawn Simmons, Kamryn, Lindy, Christopher, and his girlfriend Marissa decided to travel to Monroe, Louisiana, for a basketball game. Dawn recalls the crash happening at 9:01 p.m.
“A man who was three times the legal limit traveling 80 to 90 miles per hour, on the wrong side of the interstate, on Interstate 49 hit them head-on,” said Katie Derouen, the three’s older sibling.
Getting a phone call from the Louisiana State Police trooper forever changed the Simmons family. Katie rushed to Lafayette General Hospital but noticed that her three younger siblings were not at the same hospital.
“I asked who was at the hospital?” says Katie. “The nurse told me only my mom and Marissa. So we were very confused about where the kids were.”
Kamryn and Christopher were found at two different hospitals, and Lindy was still trapped inside the vehicle. All three children and the impaired driver responsible died.
Dawn says for the entire family that it’s been “extreme grief.” Katie added, “They were just the center of our family.”
The Simmons family is now dedicating their lives to making sure this traumatic experience doesn’t happen again.
The family got involved with a program called MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Sunny House, the executive director of MADD Louisiana, wants to remind those drinking this New Year’s Eve not to drive.
“Always make a plan, put one in place, especially this time of year that people will be on the roads celebrating in different places,” stated House.
Options like Uber, Lyft, or a simple phone call to a friend can prevent these tragedies.
MADD Louisiana is looking for volunteers to get involved with their program. If you or someone you know has lost a loved one to impaired driving, click here.