Any sadness on holidays seems to make things feel worse. Sometimes just a small disagreement can feel like the day is ruined. What’s even worse is the more serious crimes and loss that occasionally happens. Many of these upsetting situations could have been prevented. This includes accidents from drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. An officer shares her pain and begs others to not drive drunk.
A terribly sad accident happened on Christmas day that killed an innocent 14-year-old boy, Andrew Nguyen, and the 25-year-old driver, Jessica Zamora.
Officer Tori DelliCarini was one of the officers on the scene and was deeply troubled by the occurrence. She shared her feelings on the subject of drunk driving on social media. She also explained how she and other officers did their best to comfort a family who was suffering.
The online post reads:
Tonight I was a part of being the REAL San Jose Police Department, the human behind the badge, and here’s why. We all handle things differently and most often see the worst in people.
We responded on Christmas morning to a double fatal collision where an innocent 14-year old boy lost his life at the hands of a drunk driver with an outstanding warrant for a prior drunk driving incident.
We saw the wreckage…the car parts…the struggle of medics and fire personnel to save the lives of those involved.
We saw the conscious, breathing, albeit sore, parents and had to move them away from their child so he could get medical attention. Sadly we are the first to know when someone succumbs to their injuries.
No parent should ever have to bury their child. This collision bothered me.
All collisions and loss of life calls bother me, but this, in particular, made my heart ache.
This family lost their son on Christmas morning to something that NEVER should have happened.
Tonight, before shift, I bought a simple basket of white flowers and a card for the family. Every officer who was on scene that night signed the card and rallied together to offer support for the family. Why? Because we felt their loss. We care.
All 11 of us drove in a group to the family’s house, lined our cars up down the street, and then went to the door and rang the bell.
A family member hesitantly answered the door because they’ve been hounded by the media since the incident occurred. He was speechless and invited us into the family’s home, quickly closing the door behind us.
As we all crowded around the living room table, the boy’s father came down the stairs, obviously sore from his injuries.
His wife remained upstairs, still in too much pain to be mobile. We presented the flower basket and card to the father and uncle. They couldn’t believe we came to see them, let alone so many of us.
And as we stood there, I noticed one thing… All of the boy’s Christmas presents were in a pile on the coffee table. Presents that I’m sure were hard-earned and deserved, and supposed to be opened just several hours after the accident.
The father and uncle insisted we stay for a picture. I know I stood in the living room wishing I didn’t have to be in the picture, but I did… And so did the rest of my teammates. I hope that picture remains private.
I also hope it doesn’t remind the family of pain and loss and grief, but of love and support and comfort.
As we left their home to go to our respective beats all over the city, the father and uncle shook all of our hands and thanked us repeatedly.
I’m not posting this for attention or for recognition, but to simply say this: It’s not just other drivers and passengers that are affected, it’s not just friends and family, it’s not just mothers/daughters/fathers/sons… It’s everyone.Medics. Fire. Police. Dispatchers.
Don’t drink and drive. The devastation felt has a ripple effect. Have a designated driver, call an Uber, call a taxi, sleep in your car, stay at a friend’s place, call your mother, hell, call the police.
Have that talk with your kids and family members. No age is “too old” or “too young.”
I’d rather take you home than have to feel how my team and I felt on Christmas morning.
That family will never be whole again. I can only hope they have an outpouring of love and support from friends and family to help them through this tragedy.
Rest in peace, sweet boy. You will not be forgotten.
—Officer Tori DelliCarpini
Prayers for this family and all those who are affected by drug-related suffering.