Jacqui Saburido — a lady who grew to become the haunting, memorable face of a number of anti-drunk driving campaigns after she suffered life-changing accidents in a 1999 DUI crash in Texas — died Saturday in Guatemala, her household stated. She was 40.
Saburido, who reportedly had most cancers, moved to Guatemala Metropolis a number of years in the past to obtain higher medical therapy, her cousin Jose Saburido informed the Austin American-Statesman.
“TABC [Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission] is saddened to be taught of the passing of Jacqui Saburido, who used her life-changing accidents to assist inform others in regards to the risks of drunk driving,” the state company tweeted Monday following information of Saburido’s loss of life.
Saburido grew to become an advocate towards drunken driving years after she suffered extreme burns throughout her physique and quite a few well being points following the 1999 crash close to Austin. Saburido, who was 20 on the time, and three buddies had been collectively in a automobile when Reggie Stephey’s SUV plowed into the automobile. The automobile caught fireplace with Saburido trapped within the entrance passenger seat. Her physique was lined in flames for nearly a minute earlier than paramedics had been in a position to extinguish the blaze and pull Saburido out.
Stephey was arrested and charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter stemming from the deaths of two of Saburido’s buddies. Stephey was discovered responsible in 2001 and sentenced to seven years in jail.
Saburido underwent 120 surgical procedures after the crash and was left severely disfigured — however she used her horrific accidents and harrowing story to warn others in regards to the risks of drunken driving. One billion individuals worldwide are estimated to have heard her story, in line with Faces of Drunk Driving.
She grew to become the face of the Texas Division of Transportation’s anti-drunken driving marketing campaign and was featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Present.”
“Even when it means sitting right here in entrance of a digital camera with no ears, no nostril, no eyebrows, no hair, I’ll do that a thousand instances if it’ll assist somebody make a clever choice,” Saburido stated throughout one among her press availabilities.
Saburido stated in 2009 she nonetheless struggled to maneuver ahead along with her life a decade after the evening that modified her world without end.
“Emotionally, I haven’t been in a position to go ahead,” she stated, in line with the Austin American-Statesman. “I’d prefer to be pleased with myself, to simply accept myself how I’m and be extra impartial.”