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

@TexasABC |

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?”

Justina Machado Will Play Florence, The Maid, In ABC's Remake Of 'The Jeffersons' And Fans Think It's A Test On How ODAAT Will Do


Justina Machado Will Play Florence, The Maid, In ABC’s Remake Of ‘The Jeffersons’ And Fans Think It’s A Test On How ODAAT Will Do


In the mid ’70s-’80s TV audiences were glued to two sitcoms “All In The Family” and “The Jeffersons.” Both programs dealt with issues that continue to be prevalent today including racism and social class status.

While these shows are long gone, they have remained a staple of pop culture that is remembered by an older generation. It is that generation that is bringing the shows back to educate and entertain a whole new audience.

On May 22, ABC will air a one-night live event, remaking “All In The Family” and “The Jeffersons.”

The 90-minute show will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear and is being called “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons.”

Lear is the famed writer that worked on those shows back then, including “One Day At A Time” and the remake, which unfortunately got canceled. Lear will be working once again with one of the stars “One Day At A Time” in the new live event.

Justina Machado will star in the remake of “The Jeffersons” playing Florence the maid.


Machado joins a huge A-list group of actors on this special one-night TV event. Woody Harrelson will play the lead as Archie Bunker in “All In The Family,” and “The Jeffersons, Machado will work alongside Jamie Fox, Wanda Sykes, Will Ferrell, and more.

“The fact that a group of Oscar winners eagerly agreed to play these iconic characters is a testament to the greatness of these shows and their creator, Norman Lear. To be a part of this is a dream come true for me and for everyone involved,” Kimmel said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

While we are extremely thrilled that this remake is diverse, we can’t help but wonder why a Latina had to play a maid. Some say the casting is a bit off.

Machado’s character is Florence, the maid to the wealthy family, the Jeffersons. In the ’70s, Florence was played by the legendary actress Marla Gibbs. We don’t doubt Machado will do a brilliant job in the role, we are just a tad bummed that a Latina is playing the stereotypical role of the maid.

Some people on social media say a black woman should have played the role of Florence and that Sykes should be the maid instead of Machado.

Not all fans were impressed by the casting.

“No shade to Justina Machado, because she is in other shows I have watched and liked, but this ain’t her role,” Simone wrote on Facebook.

Some just want the Florence character to be portrayed by a black woman.

We will definitely tune in to see how this plays out. Will you?

Some however were super pumped that the casting could mean ABC was putting out ODAAT feelers

Because we want our show back!!

And pretty much everyone was begging ABC to do another live special of their favorites

Fingers crossed we get ‘¿Qué Pasa, USA?’!

READ: This Is How Justina Machado Went From Being A Bank Teller To Penelope In ‘One Day At A Time’

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