Speaking out from experience
Sarah Panzau comes to tell her story about drunk driving
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 16:02
“When you have a college or university in your community, it is important to see how [much] they collaborate with their community,” AB’s Corporate Social Responsibility Director Retha Fortenberry said. “Everyone has pitched in, and they are making this a success, and I think a lot of community will be here.”
The event will include a roll-over simulator, an apparatus that simulates what happens to a passenger in a vehicle when it rolls over and there are objects inside the car flying around when a passenger is not restrained, Fortenberry said.
“It is a good reminder for everybody as we are approaching spring break to really be thinking about the impact you can have on your life when you drink and drive or if you ride with someone who is drinking and driving,” Fortenberry said. “That one mistake could change your life forever.”
Clint Havins, Director for Student Life, said he expects Sarah’s presentation to be very influential and suspects there will be a significant crowd.
“We want to do the most we can for students,” Havins said. “Safety is definitely a priority; it is important. It is nice to see the campus and the [San Angelo] community come together and make this event happen.”
Panzau said there are only so many times someone can play with their luck and no one is able to predict their own future.
“To know that I could have put somebody right where I was or I could have killed somebody that night is where the survivor’s guilt comes in,” Panzau said. “There are plenty of victims of drunk driving who don’t have a voice. I feel like somewhat in my presentation that I give them a voice. To think that there was a time that I was so shallow and I was driving drunk and I knew I was driving drunk and I didn’t care. I was 21, young, immature, irresponsible.
“I am not the miracle worker; I do know that if you see my presentation, it will make you think about the choices you will make whether it be with your family or with other people,” Panzau said. “I am being Sarah Panzau for one hour and I am giving my heart to complete strangers and that is what you will see in my presentation.”