Crash victim calls for change after DUI crash kills friends - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crash victim calls for change after DUI crash kills friends

(Source: Family) (Source: Family)

A week after her friends were killed in a car crash, Kara Holden had just one thing to say.

"My friends were too special and important to me and the rest of the Briarcrest community for their lives to be forgotten," said Kara Holden in a written statement. "I feel people should get involved and be more supportive to get the DUI situation resolved. No one should have the right to drive drunk and kill people." 

Kara Holden's father sat quietly in court on Monday as he listened to the horrific events that unfolded the morning of May 31.

"She heard her friends in the background," said Holden's father. "They were alive. She knew they were in pain but she didn't want to turn around to look."

Kara Holden was one of five people in a car that was struck by Melandus Penson. Police say Penson was driving under the influence and blew a .14 after hitting the back of their vehicle, pushing it off the road and into a pole.

Maddie Kruse and Rachel Lynch died as a result of the crash.

Investigators later revealed that this incident led to Penson's seventh DUI charge since 2008.

"No more daughters, no more sons, no more dads," said Holden's father. "No more moms need to be hurt by drunken drivers. We need to get them off the road."

Law enforcement officials described Penson's blood shot eyes, the smell of intoxicating beverages coming from his body, and his failure to comply with their requests.

One officer even added that Penson said, "At least I didn't kill myself."

Meanwhile, the families of those involved say something needs to be done to keep intoxicated drivers off the road.

Holden's father said, "We as parents need to do something to stop this."

Holly Springs Police Department is hosting a meeting with law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and lawmakers on Tuesday to talk about how to improve communication between the different agencies.

Now, Kara's school is helping to raise money to cover her family's medical expenses and any rehabilitation she may need.

Kara's classmates have launched the "Karing for Kara" campaign on the Briarcrest website, where anyone can donate to the Holden family.

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