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Trauma Surgeon Sees The Aftermath of Drunk Driving Too Often

The family waiting room at WakeMed Health & Hospitals Raleigh Campus is where trauma surgeon Dr. Osi Udekwu too often must deliver the worst news — a loved one has died or sustained injuries that will likely lead to lifelong disabilities in a wreck involving a drunk driver.

“The loss of human life is always a tragedy; not only for the victims, but their family members who will always carry that loss,” Udekwu said. “And when that death could have easily been averted, it is particularly heartbreaking.”

Last year, 394 people died in alcohol-related wrecks in North Carolina. Twenty-four of them were between the ages of 15 and 19. More than 11,000 accidents involving drunk driving were reported during that same time period. In those crashes, 8,791 people were injured.

“No one is immune to the danger,” Udekwu said. “Everybody is at risk if you drink and drive.”

That is why Udekwu and WakeMed have teamed up with the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program to encourage people not to drink and drive over the holiday season.