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Drowsy Driving Continues to Haunt Local Family

By: Elizabeth Nickerson Email
By: Elizabeth Nickerson Email

Tallahassee, FL - A new study shows drowsy driving causes thousands of crashes each year.

The numbers bring back vivid memories of a similar crash that claimed the life of a local girl just a few years ago.

It is a marker to remember to drive safely.

The one on Capital Circle Southeast reminds us of the tragic death of 8-year-old Ronshay Dugans, who lost her life to a drowsy driver, back in 2008. It's a day her Aunt Josie will never forget.

"We've been advocating in Ronshay's honor to keep her spirit alive through helping others," said Josie West, Victim's Aunt.

State Representative Alan Williams passed a law the year after Ronshay died to bring awareness to the dangers of driving while fatigued.

"We want to make something like this never happens again," Williams said.

On Friday, a study released by the Centers for Disease Control found drowsy driving is common among people who get less than six hours of sleep a night.

"People work longer hours and are trying to burn the candle at both ends, but they can't get away with driving while they are drowsy because other people suffer," said Jim Messer, friend of the family.

Around 4% of American adults say they fell asleep behind the wheel at least once in the past month, making Josie West continue being an advocate against drowsy driving.

"Every time someone come to us and tells us they thought of her or took a nap at the rest area or decided to get a hotel, it encourages me to keep it going," said West.

The CDC says If drivers start to doze off, they should get off the road and rest.


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