Having had a long day of cherishing, fun and celebrations, the bride`s parents Christopher and Denice, her sister Jennifer, Jennifer`s husband, Neil and their two little daughters, Katie and Grace had got in the limousine which would get them back home.
“I remember looking in the limo and seeing Kate and waving goodbye and never thought that was going to be the type of moment where you`re seeing people for the last time,” says the groom David.
After leaving the wedding in a limo from Long Island, they entered the highway.
Little did they know that a drunk 24 –year-old called Martin Heidgen, was on the drive at the same time.
The 24–year-old was driving on the wrong lane when he crashed into the limo causing a terrible accident.
Police reports pointed out that Martin`s blood alcohol level was much more than three times the legal limit.
Before the tragedy occurred, he had had at least 14 drinks, driving at a speed of 70 miles per hour on the wrong lane of the highway for at least two miles.
The limo driver called Stanley Rabinowitz,59, passed away right after the crash.
The bride`s father had both of his legs broken after having hit the ground.
Later on, he had one cut off.
His wife Denice was gravely hurt and Grace had got stuck in the ruins.
Neil tried to get out of the car to search for help even though he had his back broken.
Meanwhile, Jennifer, who had her foot injured, was in desperate search of Katie, who was lying near her at the moment of the crash.
Suddenly, Jennifer Flynn saw what would be the nightmare of her life-Katie, her little daughter was beheaded by the safety -belt.
The first to arrive at the scene was officer Michael Tangney, also being the bride`s uncle.
He was part of the wedding celebrations just a few hours ago.
Michael says” I was walking to the rear of the limousine when a gentleman was coming away from it, and he said,` Don`t go back there. It`s bad.”
I opened the rear door to the limousine and realized it was my family.” he recalls.
Unfortunately, there was more to come.
Michael Tagney would see Jennifer getting out of the limousine holding her daughter`s head in her hands.
Katie`s body was still inside the car, having on the wedding dress she had happily worn just a few hours ago.
Jennifer stood on the roadside for a while.
She kept holding Katie`s head on her lap and watching the rest of her family members being rescued from the ruins of the completely destroyed car.
In the end, she became aware of the fact that she had to let go of her daughter and gave her to Michael.
She gave one last goodbye kiss to her daughter.
Their lives totally changed after the horrific accident.
The driver Martin Heidgen, was given 18 years of imprisonment for second-degree murder –even though nothing will make up Jennifer`s loss.
Jennifer and Neil have chosen to talk about their story hoping that it may forestall similar tragedies.
“Since no one should have to live the life I do, I felt a responsibility, an obligation, to stand up and tell our story,”Jennifer said.
“I hope that by experiencing the devastation that we survived that night and still continue to live through, people can see the seriousness of drunk driving as the crime it really is. Hopefully, we will save more in the future,” she adds.
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