By Lindsie DeFrang, Reporter
On July 6, 2012, Laurie Tuite of Finley, received some devastating news. Her nephew, Aaron Deutscher along with his wife, Allison, their 18-month old daughter, Brielle and an unborn baby were killed by a drunk driver.
The Deutscher family of West Fargo was traveling from home to Bismarck for a family gathering when a drunk driver who was traveling the wrong way on Interstate 94 collided head-on with their vehicle. Everyone was killed instantly.
“I just wish to raise awareness. I’m not against drinking, but I’m against drinking and driving. The decision to drink and drive affects more than just you, it affects everyone around you and sometimes people you don’t even know. It just takes a phone call for a cab or a friend to give you a ride home,” Laurie said.
Tuite’s brother Tom Deutscher and his wife, Arlene of Bismarck, have been working with The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) to raise awareness to the deadly consequences of drinking and driving.
“With too many tragedies such as this happening in our state, the NDDOT along with the Deutschers have teamed up to launch a new campaign to encourage people not to drink and drive,” Mark Nelson, NDDOT Safety Divison director, said in a prepared statement. “In 2012 nearly 52 percent of fatalities could have been prevented if they had made the decision not to drive after drinking alcohol.”
Since working with the NDDOT the Deutscher’s have been featured in a 60-second television public service announcement in which Tom speaks about planning a family reunion to planning a family funeral and Arlene tells what its like to lose an entire branch of her family. Also two billboards went up in the month of March, showing a picture of Aaron, Allison and Brielle. The safety message can be found on NDDOT’s Facebook page or on YouTube at .
Family and friends of the Deutscher family have spent recent months organizing an awareness campaign called Run4Change.
On April 6, a Run4Change event will be held at the Scheels Arena in Fargo and will feature a 10K, 5K Run-Walk, and 1/2K. All proceeds go to the Fargo-Moorhead Safe Communities Coalition.
“There will be live music, food and fun for everyone. Plenty of children’s activities so bring the whole family out,” Laurie stated.
Registration begins at 7 AM followed by the welcome program at 8 AM. Runners begin at 8:30 AM with the 10K. The 5K follows shortly after and the Bubble run 1/2K starts at 10:15.
“You don’t have to know my family, maybe you know another family who has been affected by a drunk driver, come out and help us Run4Change,” added Laurie.
More information regarding Run4Change can be found at , or at www.facebook.com/ndrun4change.
Event raising awareness of drinking and driving impact on April 6