Northern Kentucky family reminds motorists to drive sober in PSA - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Northern Kentucky family reminds motorists to drive sober in PSA

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NORTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX19) -

This holiday, one Northern Kentucky family is helping to spread a message of urgency to drivers to celebrate responsibly.

The Sikra family has been featured in two public service announcements airing statewide during the holiday enforcement campaign.

The Sikras know the impact of drunk driving because they felt it firsthand in 2008.

"We saw a car coming straight towards us, headlights coming at us 50, 60 miles an hour," Stephen Sikra recounted. "We had enough time to turn around and say ‘hold on', [then] bam."

Stephen Sikra, his wife Karen, and two of their three kids were headed home from getting ice cream when their van was struck head-on in the turn lane, sending them crashing into the car behind them. They were just a quarter mile from their home.

"I think at that point it was, ‘Is everybody OK?' I think that's the scariest part," Karen said. "And we weren't."

Now three and a half years later, the visible scars have faded.

"You look fine," Karen explained. "But there's a lot of things you don't see behind the make-up, behind the clothing: the soft tissue damage that eventually comes back to get you later in life."

"Sometimes it will wake you up," Stephen admitted. "The pain, or the experience … it does not go away."

Before the accident, Stephen was running six to eight marathons a year.

"Now it's nice to go out and do a 15 minute walk," he said.

The Sikras do not like to focus on their daily struggles, but they say there is no denying the impacts.

"Normal for us has been recalibrated," Stephen said. "Normal means dealing with pain every day. It includes dealing with things that you mask."

He says one man's decision to drive drunk set their lives on a new course. 

Now they're doing everything they can to use their story as a reminder to drivers that one bad decision has the power to change, or even take, innocent lives.

You hear many stories about people who don't survive these kinds of incidents. Perhaps we're here for this reason; to tell our story.

Ten people were killed on Kentucky roadways last year during the Christmas and New Year's holiday. Three of the deaths involved alcohol.

According to the NHTSA one of every three Americans will be impacted by a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.

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