BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Crime Victim’s Awareness week brings the community’s focus to much needed issues. One of those, DUIs and the ripple effects they create in the lives of all those affected.
Driving under the influence is a crime that can rip apart families in mere moments. Kern County is no stranger to these crimes and the pain that comes from them.
Crime Victim’s Awareness week brings attention to serious issues in Kern County and the stories of those who were victims of these crimes.
The eighth annual Crime Victim’s March is set for Wednesday. Dozens of families will come out to honor their lost loved ones.
“Every DA’s office and victim advocacy group throughout the country we do something to honor the courage and resilience of victims,” Cynthia Zimmer the Kern County district attorney said.
One recent DUI took the life of Jermari Pierre Terrell, a 19-year-old, 2020 Ridgeview High School graduate. The car he was in was hit by a suspected DUI driver at White Lane near Dovewood Street in March.
Friends and family of Terrell and other DUI victims say these deaths were avoidable.
In December, a suspected DUI driver took the lives of 19-year-old J.J. Malone and 10-year-old Caylee Brown. Their father Jeffrey Malone will be at the rally on Wednesday.
“Making the pictures brought back a flood of emotions,” Jeffrey said. “I think for me in particular it will let me know we are not alone out. There are other people out there who have been affected by similar crimes. It’ll be good to just talk to people further along in the grieving process than I am.”
Zimmer said if your family is a victim of crimes like these, there’s help for you.
“We want to make sure by events like this that victims know that there are services, burial services can be covered, counseling,” Zimmer said.
The eighth annual Crime Victim’s March is happening tomorrow between three and four at 1215 Truxtun Avenue in the East courtyard. The Kern County District Attorney’s Office will host the march.