Flags fly to commemorate victims of drunk driving - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Flags fly to commemorate victims of drunk driving

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A Texas City field is filled with flags this week. But all the red, white and blue has nothing to do with patriotism.

Each flag represents a Texan killed by a drunk driver in a single year. There are 1,547 of them because that's how many alcohol-related fatalities were recorded in the Lone Star State in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available.

The "Healing Field," as it is called, is meant to draw attention to the consequences of drinking and driving.

Almost exactly four years ago, Tracy Leal's daughter Sam was killed by an intoxicated driver. Leal and her son found the crash scene that night and the boy was asked to identify his sister's body.

"When I heard my son scream from looking at the picture," recalled Leal, "I knew that it was her."

Texas leads the nation in alcohol-related traffic deaths according to the Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol, which is sponsoring the event. And BACODA CEO Karen Van Horne says the Houston area tops our state in this most dubious honor.

"That makes us the worst of the worst," said Van Horne. "Not something to be real proud of. And it's something we can do something about."

The Healing Field's 1,547 flags will remain up until Friday morning. The exhibit is at Nessler Park, right next to Texas City's Doyle Convention Center.

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