Updated 03/20/2013 10:19 PM
Danielle Pitcher speaks at JCC about risks of drunk driving
You may remember Danielle Pitcher as the girl who caused an accident in 2011 that killed her best friend. Two years later, she's taking her life experience to an audience that can relate to her. YNN's Carmella Mataloni was at Jefferson Community College where Pitcher gave students a firsthand look at the risks of drunk driving.
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- On a snowy night in January of 2011, Danielle Pitcher made a decision that would change her life forever. She and three of her friends went to a convenient store to pick up some supplies. On their way back, they got into a head on collision. Danielle was the driver and she was also drunk. The impact of the crash ended up killing her best friend, Gabrielle Acevedo.
"I learned the full extent of my punishment when my friends died and the next morning when I woke up and it was real life," said speaker Danielle Pitcher.
Pitcher pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter. She was sentenced to five years probation plus six months in county jail. She had already been serving time on the weekends while she finished her degree at Nazareth College. Now trying to move forward, she takes her story to an audience of people who deal with the pressures of drinking.
"I think hearing it up close and personal and hearing the very intimate details is a lot different than hearing it from somebody who heard it from somebody," said Pitcher.
Many of the students who attended the presentation say that they can really relate to what Pitcher was saying and with spring break coming up it was the perfect opportunity to hear her story.
"I hope everyone listening today doesn't make the decisions that she did, you know, think about it before they drink and drive," said freshman Madelyn Player.
"I think she is really brave for actually doing this and coming here and telling everyone about this," said sophomore Kylee O’Shaughnessy.
Pitcher hopes to share her story with as many people as she can and has booked presentations through the spring.