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Buffalo family pleas to end drunk driving

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Posted at 11:13 PM, Feb 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-05 23:13:22-05

15 years ago on Sunday, the Vickerd family said they suffered a loss no amount of time can ever heal. He was killed by a drunk driver, said Jessica Vickerd. Shes referring to her younger brother, J.R. He was just 14 and in eighth grade when he was struck and killed by that drunk driver. 

Jessica was with him and says she witnessed the entire thing. She and her brother had just purchased wrestling tickets and were walking home along Grant Street near Buffalo State College when the driver hopped the curb and hit her brother, killing him instantly. It's hard. You block it out. But, then, this time around all the feelings come back.

The driver drove off but he was caught later that night. He served just one year in prison for the crime. J.R.s mom, Joanne Vickerd said that driver's mistake changed her family forever. We were a close knit family. It really messed up our whole life.

So, they hold a vigil every year on the anniversary of J.R.s death to help keep his memory alive. But, they're sharing his story for more than the memory. So no other family goes through what we went through, said Jessica. 

Yes, they hope others will learn from their tragedy and think twice about drinking and driving.