Drunk driving victims' memorial signs taken down in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Drunk driving victims' memorial signs taken down in Lubbock

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Several blue TXDOT signs aimed to stop drunk driving will be taken down over the next few weeks in Lubbock. New legislation only allows the memorial signs for the victims to stay up two years, and now five of the eight signs in Lubbock will be coming down.

"I won't stop until there's no longer a need, or I draw my last breath," said Kandi Sargent-Lowe. She received a letter a few weeks ago from TXDOT saying her daughter's memorial sign will be taken down soon.

As Kandi read the letter in disbelief, she felt a pain… it was like reliving some of the horror the night her 20-year-old daughter Janakae Sargent died.  "It's a call every parent dreams about. It's your worst nightmare. You fear it," said Kandi.

It was the very thing Janakae was trying to prevent that ended her life. On November 12, 2006 Janakae, a Texas Tech student, was a designated driver and had just dropped her friend off. A drunk driver smashed into her pickup truck at the intersection of Highway 84 and MLK.

The driver died instantly, but Janakae hung on to life. Four days later she passed away.

Kandi hung on to her daughter's memory by purchasing a $300 TXDOT sign that now stands near the  intersection where her daughter's life was taken.

The sign reads: "Please don't drink and drive. In memory of Janakae Sargent, November 12, 2006"

With state legislation that took effect December of last year, more than a 100 signs across Texas will be taken down. "We understand it's an emotional issue for the families, and we sympathize with their loss," said Dianah Ascensio with TXDOT, "But we've gotten direction from legislation this year that the signs can only be posted for two years before they're removed"

TXDOT will send letters to the sponsors of the signs, and give them the signs.

Kandi says that's not enough, and started a petition to keep her sign standing. In just a few weeks her petition has gotten close to 4,000 signatures. She says she will give the petition to state politicians to hopefully keep the signs up.

To see her petition (click here).

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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