Giovanni Vaccarello

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Giovanni Vaccarello, a retired machinist form Brooklyn, New York, never

took the safety of his family for granted. He often drove Maria, 18, and

Concetta, 17, to their part time jobs. John, his fourteen year old son, was to

wear a beeper at all times so that he would never be out of reach. Giovanni

routinely walked Cathy, his wife of twenty five years, one block to her job at

the beauty salon. But with all the precautions Giovanni took, nothing could

stop him from Abraham Meyers, a 25-year-old janitor from Brooklyn. At

about 11:30 on May 1, 1994, Giovanni left the Russo's catering hall in

Queens with Cathy, Maria, and Concetta. John lingered behind as the others

crossed the street and headed for the car. It was then that Meyers, allegedly

going at speeds over 70 mph without headlights on, smashed into them,

sending the Vaccarello's flying. Maria and Concetta died instantly, while

Cathy held on for a few hours on life support before dying. Giovanni escaped

with his leg broken in three places, but suffered a heart attack that kept him in

the hospital for a month. Meyers' blood alcohol was tested at .2, double the

legal limit for driving while intoxicated. This was not the first time he would

face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol, he has had his license

suspended 26 times and has drunk driving convictions dating back to 1967.

Although Meyers kept driving without a license, he never spent one day in jail.

He now faces up to life in prison, but this is of no consolation to the Giovanni

family (People, October 17, 1994). Over the last fifteen years, there has been

a major improvement in the number of alcohol related accidents and deaths all

over the country. Between the years of 1982 and 1992, the number of

fatalities due to alcohol-related accidents dropped 30 percent from 25,000 to

17,000. These numbers are the direct result of hard work by the American

people to put an end...
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