Convicted drunk driver tells his story at MADD meeting

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - This year, five people have already been killed in crashes where alcohol is believed to have played a role.

The year started with a deadly crash on Ming Avenue that claimed the life of a 22-year-old woman, and days later another wreck at Fairview and Monitor Street killed a woman and her unborn baby.

People gathered at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving event Thursday night and a convicted drunk driver and victims of drunk drivers told their stories in hopes that this won't happen to someone else.

19-year-old Kurt Evans' best friend Kevin Gutierrez was killed when Evans' car crashed after a night of drinking in the Kern River Valley.

"You can't replace a life, I took his life and now his family has to go through life without him," said 19-year-old Kurt Evans.

Evans says they were hanging out with friends and decided to go get firewood. Evans lost control of the car and it rolled down the mountain.

It's a moment that changed Evans' life forever, and now he has to live with the guilt of knowing his friend is never coming back.

"He was too young, and I was young so that's a whole lifetime of memories without him," said Evans.

That's what Evans told a room full of DUI offenders tonight at a monthly MADD meeting.

"It's hard telling it over and over again, but it's worth it if one gets it, it's better than nothing," said Evans.

Evans was one of several speakers, including Michael Benge, who lost his wife to a drunk driver almost 10 years ago.

Deputy District Attorney Jim Simson says hopefully bringing Evans to the meetings will make others think twice about drinking and driving.

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