- Posted January 11, 2012 by
Fort Carson, Colorado
Child who lost mother to drunk driver educates Soldiers
Dhyra Duncan, 12, looks at a photo of the remains of her deceased mother's car. Her mother was killed in May at the age of 31 when a drunk driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 25 collided with her.
By Kerstin Lopez
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- A young girl stands alone on stage in front of an auditorium full of Soldiers. With a shaky voice she whispers into the microphone telling her painful story.
Dhyra Duncan, 12, has endured more tragedy in her young life than most people do in an entire lifetime. Her story is riddled with devastation.
With the loss of her father at the age of 9, she faced another horrific scenario May 14 -- the death of her mother.
Dhyra's mother, Lilly Duncan, was involved in a car accident when a drunk driver collided with her on Interstate 25 near Denver. The intoxicated female driver barreled down the interstate going southbound in the northbound lanes.
Lilly Duncan, 31, died at the scene of the accident, leaving Dhyra with no living parents. Despite her age, Dhyra exhibited a high level of maturity as she shared her story for the first time at Fort Carson.
Impaired driving continues to be an issue in communities across the nation and Fort Carson took a stand to combat the problem locally with the Drunk and Drugged Driving Campaign.
The event, referred to as the "3D" Campaign, is designed to educate about the negative consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, said Edgardo Menjivar, Army Substance Abuse Program prevention coordinator.
"The campaign focuses on reducing incidents caused by people driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs," Menjivar said. "It makes our community aware of the senseless tragedies resulting from alcohol and drug related injuries and fatalities. It also strengthens our commitment as a community in reducing impaired driving."
As part of the campaign, the ASAP staff set up informational display tables at the Fort Carson Exchange and also conducted a brief at McMahon Auditorium. Nearly 500 Soldiers from across the installation attended Dec. 14 and heard Dhyra's compelling story.
"We're bringing everybody out here so you can understand the impact that drinking and driving has on the communities," said Anthony McCollin, ASAP assistant prevention coordinator.
McCollin said the 3D Campaign reminds everyone to "designate before we celebrate" and encourages safe and sober driving, especially during the holiday season.
"We hope this presentation makes you understand the consequences of those that abuse drugs and alcohol, as well as understanding the impact and pain that these types of behaviors have on our families, our co-workers, our loved ones and the community," McCollin said.