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Families of DWI crash victims across Western North Carolina come together

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    CANTON, N.C. (WLOS) — The National Highway Safety Administration says nearly 30 people in the US die in drunk-driving crashes every day.

On Saturday, Nov. 30, families gathered with a common purpose. Their goal was to remember those killed by impaired drivers, and to prevent others from dying.

Kyra Arias was not one of them, but she almost was.

“Not a day goes by I can’t not think about, it’s always with me,” Arias said.

In 2011, she was sitting in the passenger seat when a drunk driver rear-ended the car she was riding in, sending it through a guardrail and into a home.

The then 17-year-old was left clinging to life — her severed hand had to be reattached.

“It drives you insane because you feel I want to do something about it, and you can only do so much because it’s people decisions,” Arias said.

Those decisions left dozens in Canton’s Colonial Theater Saturday night, without a son, daughter, and spouse.

The ‘Evening of Remembrance’ also reunites families with the first responders who witnessed the tragedies up close.

“Having an event like this really shows that it has affected a lot of people not only in Western North Carolina, but all over the country, all over the state,” Trooper Jackson Stewart with the North Carolina Highway Patrol said.

Loved one of those who died and survivors are now hoping people think before they get behind the wheel.

“Your decision can alter somebody else’s life, and it’s not just one other person, you are altering that person’s family’s lives, their loved one’s lives. It’s a ripple effect and people don’t realize it,” Arias said.

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