DUI Checkpoint Honors 19-Year Old Killed By Drunk Driver - KMSP-TV

DUI Checkpoint Honors Teen Killed By Drunk Driver

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Oxnard, CA -

(FOX 11) She had a name -- it was Taylor. Taylor Marie Moss. She had a family, friends and was loved deeply. She still is.

She also had dreams, ambitions. She wanted to be an elementary school teacher and by all accounts, she would have been a great one. Would have been. Could have been. But will never be.

Because on November 1, 2009, as the 19-year-old drove home on the 101 freeway, a man she had never met killed her. And in seconds, all those dreams died. Just like that.

Hector Ortiz had spent the night drinking and was so drunk he entered the freeway through an exit and began driving the wrong way until he crashed head on into Taylor.

She didn't stand a chance.

Ortiz is now behind bars, sentenced to 18 years in prison for which he'll probably only serve 15 years or so. Meanwhile, the people Taylor loved the most and who loved her the most have been sentenced to a lifetime without her. A lifetime of living with a piece of their heart missing.

But from heartache, the Moss family has also found strength and they're not going to let their daughter's death be in vain. Taylor's mother Jacquelyn bravely speaks about her daughter at MADD meetings (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and that is where a young officer with the Oxnard Police Department met her.

Officer Derek Miller was touched by her story of love and loss. All too often, as a traffic officer he sees the devastation left behind by those who drive under the influence. The devastation those drivers rarely see.

Inspired by Taylor's story and her parent's strength, Miller had an idea. Why not put a face, a name, a story to the tragedy one too many drinks can cause and tell drivers about it? Maybe they'll be as touched as he was and think twice about drinking and driving.

And with the support of his police department, Miller is seeing his idea in action as Oxnard police hold its first DUI Checkpoint in honor of a victim; in Taylor's honor.

Not only are driver's given a pamphlet about the dangers of driving under the influence, they are also being given a flyer with Taylor's beautiful face on it and her story.

Taylor's family is here, quietly watching as that flyer is handed out to driver after driver. It's not easy, and I too admire their strength.

As Taylor's father Dean told me, if this will help one dad wake up tomorrow and still have his daughter alive, then Taylor's death won't have been in vain.


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