Never Forgetting the Victims & Their Families
Raven Leigh Grande

A drunk driver killed my daughter. How do I begin to explain the impact of my daughter's death on my family. To understand the devastation of our loss, you must know a little about her. Her name is Raven Leigh Patricia Theresa Grande.  She was the oldest of three daughters, a protective older sister.  From her earliest days, she lived each day wholeheartedly embracing what life had to offer.  She was a talented dancer and singer and she looked forward to guiding young lives in the future as an elementary school teacher.  She had many friends and was a good friend to many.  She was loved!!!!!

How do I explain the impact of hearing the doorbell ring at 4:00 in the morning and a police officer telling you and your husband, "There was an accident.........your daughter didn't make it."  The sound of Raven's sisters, as they come out of their bedrooms crying and screaming because no good news is ever delivered at that hour.  How do I explain the impact of seeing your 19 year-old daughter lying in a coffin and finally realizing that this wasn't all a bad dream or a big mistake.  That the vivacious, energetic and loving daughter you cherish has been taken from you--------stilled and silenced forever.  You are forced to wake up each morning to face another day without her. To somehow comfort each other through this awful tragedy that has no end.  You never stop thinking about all of the things Raven will never be able to share with us.

The young man responsible for her death had a choice in the early hours of April 29, 2001.  He chose to drink and drive.  His reckless and criminal actions resulted in the death of a beautiful young woman with a promising future.  He was sentenced to 2 ½ years, most of it served in a rehabilitation center and not a prison.  Our sentence is for life---life without Raven.

Kim Grande, Raven's Mother