You don’t want to cross these mothers

With the driver’s side caved in, windows shattered and shards of metal twisting out in each direction, Ryan Smith’s Acura Integra was unrecognizable. Smith, 20, was hit broadside while driving his Acura Integra. The driver, of the other car, was driving at high speeds after spending his evening, drinking, at an Applebee’s in Palm Dessert.

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By Angelica Siordia & Tyler Chapman

By Angelica Siordia & Tyler Chapman

With the driver’s side caved in, windows shattered and shards of metal twisting out in each direction, Ryan Smith’s Acura Integra was unrecognizable.

Smith, 20, was hit broadside while driving his Acura Integra. The driver, of the other car, was driving at high speeds after spending his evening, drinking, at an Applebee’s in Palm Dessert. The intoxicated driver seen by witnesses was driving at speeds over 100 miles per hour.

Smith and his other passengers were hit when the other driver ran a red light and broadsided the red Integra. Smith was fatally injured and died at the hospital hours later. The driver of the other car, with four prior convictions for drunk driving, was convicted of second degree murder and is serving 27 years to life.

The week of April 7th Smith’s destroyed Acura was put on display at Riverside City College in front of Landis Auditorium. Crushed and destroyed, the Acura portrayed the consequences to driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a non profit organization set up the display as a part of their enduring campaign against alcohol related car crashes.

The display is frequently used at high school and college campuses to show the reality of violent car crashes involving high speeds and high blood alcohol levels.

While students looked at the wrecked car, through the glass box, a video of Smith’s breaking news followed by weeks of the driver’s trial was displayed.

Students showed expressions of disbelief while the voices of Smith’s family and loved ones were heard through the speakers.

“There is just no excuse for it period,” student Roberta Cooper said. “There is no reason to get behind the wheel after you have been drinking.”

RCC Peer Health Education organized the presentation by contacting M.A.D.D. “We contacted M.A.D.D. to set up the presentation,” said Peer Health Educator Chris Racadio. “It is a strong visual aid to inform students about drunk driving.”

Peer Health Education also featured a poster with other young victims killed in alcohol related car accidents.

Information about the victims was shown below the pictures of each person.

Every month Peer Health Education covers a college related health topic and this month the groups discussion was on alcohol related issues.

“We are discussing alcohol because spring break is coming up and during spring break there is a lot of drinking involved,” Racadio said.

Throughout the month of April, Health services will be covering many different issues on alcohol.

Topics like sexual intercourse under the influence of alcohol, binge drinking and alcohol related diseases will be discussed.

“For students to gain more information about Peer Health Education they can visit our MySpace,” said Peer Health Educator Anthony Elisanrraraz.

To give RCC students an option to not drink and drive during the week of spring break, Yellow Cab Co. will be giving RCC students free cab rides.

The free cab rides will only be available during the spring break holiday.

For any information regarding alcohol related issues for this month, contact Health Services at (951) 222-8151.

For additional information on free cab rides, students must call 1-800-340-8294 and present an RCC student ID.

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