Parents Of Drunk Driving Victim Come To America To Heal - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/13/03

Parents Of Drunk Driving Victim Come To America To Heal

Tony and Maria Staunton say they are angry and bitter at the man who killed their daughter. Traecy Staunton was a 20 year old college freshmen at William Carey College, who came to Mississippi from her native Ireland on a soccer scholarship.

A life that had so much promise ended suddenly and unexpectedly in early December when police say she was killed by a drunk driver on Highway 90. This week, her parents and brother have come here from Ireland, to see where she lived, and where she died.

The accident scene, was one of the first places the Staunton's wanted to see.

"The distance the vehicles traveled, it was frightening,'' said her father, Tony Staunton, he added, "I have never seen anything like it. It was very disturbing."

Tony and Maria also went to Tracy's dorm room at William Carey, the same room that still has the Dublin flag on the wall, they had mailed her just a few weeks ago. For the Staunton's, coming to this room, is part of the long healing process.

"To have not come to America, to not come here, we would always be wondering," added Tony Staunton, "We are trying to put a picture on the whole thing from start to finish. This is part of it, this is part of the grieving process."

Now, inside their daughter's dorm room, they can almost hear her voice, the daughter who would call home, every single week."

"She actually said to Tony, 'I bought an iron." And Tony said, 'why, you can't iron?' She said, 'I can now," chuckled Treacy's mom, Maria.

Treacy Staunton was a girl who came to America, to follow her dreams. She was 20 years old, but even at such a young age, she knew, life should be savored.

Her friend Nick Mulvaney remembers a classmate who loved life.

''She was such a good person. She was always smiling, she always would make us laugh,'' said Nick, who was in the car with Treacy the night she was killed.

Now, Tracey's friends and family have only pictures to remember her by.

As for the man who killed Tracey Staunton that night, Maria Staunton's says he should be behind bars.

"On my side, I would have to say when I found out he was drunk, I was very bitter. I am," said Maria.

The Staunton's say they are living every parents worse nightmare, but coming here helps.

There is another reason why the Staunton's came to America. It's something they want everyone to hear,

"To anybody contemplating drinking and driving, think of us, think of other people. I got up Christmas morning and all I could do was put flowers on my daughters grave," said Tony Staunton.

The Staunton's will head back to Ireland late this month, with a heavy heart.

By Jeff Lawson

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