Fierce

Jacqui Saburido, The Latina Whose Tragic Story Taught The World About Drunk Driving, Has Died

@TexasABC | facesofdrunkdriving.com

Most Millennials will recognize the face of Jacqui Saburido well. The Venezuelan-born activist arrested national and international attention in the early 2000s after a car crash in 1999 left 60% of her body severely burned including her face.

After the tragic accident in 1999, which killed two of her friends, Saburido allowed the graphic post-accident photographs of herself to be used in commercials and reports. She appeared in anti-drunk driving advertisements and was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show on multiple occasions.

On Tuesday, Saburido’s family revealed that after a years-long battle with cancer, she passed away in Guatemala City. According to TxDOT’s Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign, by the time of her death, Saburidos story was told to at least one billion people across the globe.

In 1999, Saburido’s life was changed for forever while she was heading home from a birthday party with a few friends.

Saburido and a few of her friends had left a birthday party in Austin Texas and were driving when their small car was struck by a large pickup truck. Reginald Stephey was behind the wheel of the truck at the time and had also been drinking before the accident. The driver of the car, along with a passenger of the car Saburido was in, suffered fatal injuries.

Saburido was trapped in the car and remained there when it caught fire.

As a result, Saburido was left with third-degree burns across 60% of her body, her fingers were amputated, she lost her hair, her ears, her nose, lips, her left eyelid and most of her vision. To recover, she was required to have over 120 reconstructive surgeries including a cornea transplant for her left eye.

Soon after her accident, Saburido became an advocate for Texas Department of Transportation’s anti-drunk-driving campaign.

She made numerous appearances at academic institutions where she spoke of her experience to students in an effort to quash drunk-driving related accidents.

In an interview for the Faces Of Drunk Driving site, Saburido once said, “This is part of my mission here on the Earth… If this face and this body can help others, then why not?”

Parade Attendees In Medellín Watched In Horror As Two Airmen Plummeted To Their Deaths During A Stunt

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Parade Attendees In Medellín Watched In Horror As Two Airmen Plummeted To Their Deaths During A Stunt

Aerial shows are something people around the world enjoy. Some people make full weekends out of these events that are typically tied to some kind of patriotic holiday or community event. However, an aerial show in Colombia this weekend showed the danger of participating in this kind of event. The terrifying and heartbreaking moment was captured on camera and the video is as scary and heartwrenching as it sounds. Two airmen were hanging on a Colombian flag suspended from a helicopter as it flew over a parade when the unthinkable happened. Without warning, the rope holding the flag snaps sending the two airmen plummeting to the ground in front of spectators.

On Sunday, two Colombian airmen died while attempting to do a stunt in the sky during a public gathering.

Credit: YouTube

According to several outlets, the men were performing a stunt at the Medellin Flower Fair in Colombia. The trick, which at first began very beautiful, included a cable hanging from a helicopter. The men were also attached to this same cable along with the Colombia flag. It looked almost like a patriotic parade in the sky, but then things went horribly wrong.

The video shows the cable somehow snapped off of the helicopter and the two men plunged to their death.

Credit: YouTube

It remains unclear how this tragic accident occurred. According to the Sun, an Air Force spokesperson said, “The reasons behind this painful accident are still being investigated by the authorities.” The event also happened near the Olaya Herrera Airport, which as a result of the accident had to be closed.

The men were identified as Jesus Mosquera and Sebastian Gamboa Ricaurte who were based in Rionegro in Antioquia. The shocking death has left a community mourning and searching for answers on how this could have happened.

The video has been shared far and wide on social media. 

Credit: @ErikaJournal / Twitter

“Horrific,” one person said. “Sad, as I don’t understand the need for stunts like this. Awful way to go.” “There should have been the strictest safety protocols in place, no doubt there were none… RIP,” another said. “I never liked stunts like that. It’s just not worth it,” another said. And we agree with that sentiment exactly. Yes, ideally, a stunt like this would have been stunning, and it truly began that way, but something is quite off about how this trick went off. 

According to the Daily Mail, Defence Minister Guillermo Botero, “I have instructed the Force commanders that aerial exercises such as today be suspended until the causes of the incident in Medellín are fully known,” and added, “My solidarity with their families, friends, and institution.”

Here’s the video, but please beware that it is painful to watch.

After analyzing the video, it almost appears as if something flew right across the cable, which caused it to break away from the helicopter completely. Other’s on social media agree. “Pretty sure I saw something fly into the cable there??” someone commented. 

It almost looks like a bird, but it’s hard to tell because of the quality of the video and because it moves so fast. 

Jorge Hugo Duarte, an Olaya Herrera airport manager, offered up his theory in the Spanish news outlet Ensegundos, that “One of the Air Force helicopters coming to the airport to land with two military men hanging holding the Colombian flag, this rope apparently burst from the aircraft and the two military men fell into the airport. Both military men died.” 

But the video shows it didn’t just burst, something flew directly into it causing it to break. 

Further inspection of the video shows that another helicopter was also carrying two other men with another flag.

 Credit: YouTube

It is unclear if the other stuntmen were injured or involved in the cause of the accident, but according to the video it seemed like they were far behind them. 

The helicopters were performing as part of the Medellín Flower Fair.

Credit: kakabanetadecoco / Instagram

According to The Sun, the festival “began in 1963 and includes pageants, parades of cars and horses, and musical concerts.” 

The air show had only last ten-minutes before the cable broke. In the previous years, the Festival of Flowers has included the use of helicopters as part of the show. One year rose petals were dropped from helicopters as a tribute to the men and women who maintain the annual tradition. 

READ: A Tragic Accident Left Two Teenage Daughters Without Parents While Vacationing In Turks And Caicos

A Tragic Accident Left Two Teenage Daughters Without Parents While Vacationing In Turks And Caicos

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A Tragic Accident Left Two Teenage Daughters Without Parents While Vacationing In Turks And Caicos

Irma Isabel Barrera / Facebook

There is terrible news out of the Turks and Caicos Islands where authorities say three Texas tourists, including a married couple, drowned during a recent vacation. According to People Magazine, the couple, Irma Barrera, 33, and her husband, Roy Perez, 38, were vacationing with their 15-year-old daughter and the third victim and his daughter when they drowned after getting caught in a quick-moving tide this past Monday. 

The group was reportedly exploring Bambarra Beach, a popular and scenic tourist area when the group of five got caught in a tidal wave that fueled by strong winds. The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said the incident happened around 1 p.m. near the beach which is located on the sparsely populated island of Middle Caicos.

Barrera’s body would be found washed ashore shortly after the incident and after searchers scoured the beaches, they recovered Perez’s a few hours later. The third body, identified as Dr. Richard Okoloise, was discovered early on Tuesday morning with assistance from the US Coast Guard.

The terrible incident has now left two families torn apart and two children devastated by the loss of a parent.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

The victims belonged to two families who hailed from Texas. Their families say the group was vacationing together along with their two girls. Residents in the area say that the families may have been attempting to swim a short distance through the shallow waters from Bambarra Beach to Pelican Cay, which is nearby to the beach when they were swept away in the fast-moving tide.

Rescuers were able to rescue both of the young girls from the water and save them from drowning. Both were being cared for shortly after by local social welfare services. Family members back home are working to get the children back to the home to the United States. According to KTRK-TV, family members of Barrera’s and Perez’s were traveling to the Caribbean archipelago on Wednesday to bring the couple’s daughter home and seek more answers on how this incident could have ever happened. 

“This was a tragic loss of life and obviously all of us are asking every question we can about what went wrong,” Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said in a public statement. “Our thoughts and our prayers go out to everyone, most especially the children involved.

“We live in a world filled with many bad things, but we still have good Samaritans,” Botting added. “I would like to thank those who came to the aide of the children and everyone who were a part of the search and rescue, this includes volunteers, our Emergency Response Teams and the U.S. Coastguard Helicopter crew.”

We are now learning more about the couple and father who tragically drowned. 

Credit: @abcnews / Twitter

Families and friends are now mourning the horrible incident and remembering those who have been lost. According to her Facebook profile, Barrera worked as a nurse at Angleton Emergency Room while her husband is being called a “family man” by various friends on Facebook. 

“My classmate, friend, brother this is how I’ll remember you. Every picture with your family always brought a smile. A class clown to say the least! I remember about a year ago you messaged me saying that you were proud of me. Yet today I want to say how proud I am of you. Your daughters adore you man! Your daughters will forever be in my prayers. May You & your Wife Rest In Peace.” a friend wrote on his Facebook profile.

Okoloise, an emergency medicine physician in Angleton, Texas, is being also hailed a great person who had an undeniable love for his young daughter. He was said to have always wanted to travel to Turks and Caicos if he ever got rich. 

“He loved medicine, traveling, and his family,” Annamarie Kilgore, a friend and colleague of Okoloise wrote on Facebook. “I will miss his ridiculous talks. However, I’m thankful he was called while being in his favorite place in the world. He always told me ‘if I ever disappear after a lottery win, I’ll be hiding in Turks and Caicos.'”

The deadly incident has prompted calls from local residents for authorities to put up warning signs on the islands which are often-deserted beaches. It’s yet to be determined if any action will be taken to further stop any future incident similar to this. 

Family friends have set up a GoFundMe page to pay for funeral arrangements.

READ: Central Americans Flee Their Countries Because Of Violence But Also Because They Have No Water

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