OKC Officers Speak Out About Dangers Of Distracted Driving, DUI

Monday, April 8th 2013, 7:37 pm
By: News 9

We've all heard the dangers of texting and driving, and drinking and driving. But sometimes, something as simple as a traffic stop could be the difference between life and death.

Now, we are hearing from two Oklahoma City officers who know that all too well.

The images of a wreck still bring tears to Captain Lisa Camacho's eyes to this day.

"I think everybody has a difficult time dealing with it, doesn't matter how long ago it happened, or how it happened." said Captain Lisa Camacho, who lost her sister Nancy, in a deadly car crash back on December 9, 2004. "It's a family member."

Officer Jennifer Steele just lost her husband last year. They had only been married six months when he was hit by the driver of a SUV while riding his motorcycle.

"He was exiting from I-44 onto Northwest Expressway, and he was going through the intersection at Belle Isle," Steele remembers. "And the vehicle made an illegal right turn in front of his motorcycle. He was considered brain dead 24 hours after his accident."

Steele was a brand new officer, and had just graduated from the academy five months before. She never dreamed her new life would turn upside down so fast.

"I was devastated," said Steele. "I didn't know much information, but I was freaking out."

The one thing both these officers want to drive home is for drivers to pay attention to their driving, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Or else this could happen to you, or someone you love.

"Texting, talking on the cell phone playing with your radio - that one second you look down, anything can happen," Capt. Camacho said.

They also want fellow officers to know how crucial it is to make those numerous traffic stops.

"Traffic stops are very important to make," said Steele. "It saves lives! It may upset the driver if they get a ticket, but it definitely saves a lot of heartache."

In Camacho's sister's case, the two men involved were found to be high on drugs - and were charged and convicted of second degree murder.

Steele's husband's case is still pending.