One household, two very different DUI tragedies: Tallahassee family shares drunk driving’s devastating toll
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Nearly twenty years after Caitlin Patrick saw her dad locked away for DUI manslaughter, she lost her sister, killed by an accused drunk driver.
Her sister’s name is Nora Cooney. WCTV talked with Patrick just a month after the September crash on US 319 in Grady County. Court records show a Tallahassee woman is accused of driving the wrong way.
Now, Nora’s family is opening up about a shocking detail of their own past. Nora’s father, George Krikorian, is serving life in prison. He was convicted of three counts of DUI manslaughter, stemming from a 2002 Palm Beach County crash that killed three and orphaned a child.
“I didn’t understand it, I think. I just knew my dad was gone,” Patrick said.
She says her dad’s sins were always on her mind.
“Part of me has always been scared that I was going to get hit by the drunk driver,” she said. “It almost felt like that’s a secret fear that you’re going to have to pay for your parent’s mistakes, and then you get that phone call that it happened to your sister, it was really earth shattering, because that was my fear, that it was going to happen to me because my father did it.”
Patrick said Nora was Krikorian’s only daughter that remained close in the years after his conviction. They said he was angry to learn how his daughter died.
“I think he blames himself,” Patrick said.
Aisling Cooney is the middle child, and described Nora as her “closest family member.”
“I just want her with me, it’s hard to accept she’s not going to be,” she said.
Talking with WCTV from her Seattle home, she reflected on what made Nora so special.
“She would do anything for the people she loved, and she often had to,” she said.
With her father out of the picture, Cooney said her mother struggled to parent. The family slid into poverty.
“We lost our house, my mom changed our last name. We moved schools,” she said.
Cooney says Nora dropped out of high school. Pursuing a college education seemed unattainable for years.
But at the time of her death, Nora had nearly reached that once-unthinkable goal, studying at Florida State with hopes of perhaps becoming a private investigator.
FSU awarded the family Nora’s degree posthumously.
“She really worked hard for it and deserved it, but she’ll never get to see it,” Cooney said.
WCTV reached out to the woman who lost both parents in the 2002 crash that landed Krikorian in prison, sharing the details of Nora’s crash. She now works as a therapist in South Florida.
In an email, she wrote “my family and I were very dismayed to hear about this tragedy and loss of innocent life.”
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