news > Exclusive News
Don't drink & drive : Jacqueline Saburido eye opener tragedy
Thursday, March 03, 2011

Don't drink & drive




In her home-country Venezuela, on vacation


At a birthday party as a child


At a party with friends a couple of months before the accident


The car in which Jacqueline travelled when she was hit by a car driven by a 17-year old student on his way home after a couple of beers with his friends. This was in late 1999.


After the accident Jacqueline has needed over 40 operations


Jacqueline was caught in the burning car and her body was heavily burnt during around 45 seconds


Here with her father in 2000


Getting treatment




Without a left eyelid Jacqie needs eyedrops to keep her vision



Now 20 year old, he cannot forgive himself for driving on that night three years ago. He s aware of devastating Jaqcueline Saburido's life.


Not everyone who gets hit with a car dies. This picture was taken 4 years after the accident and the doctors are still working on Jacqueline, who s body was covered with 60% severe burnings.


Early on Sunday morning September 19, 1999, Jacqui - then 20 years old - and four friends were on their way home from a birthday party. Reggie Stephey, an 18-year-old high school student, was on his way home from drinking beer with some buddies. On a dark road on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, Reggie's SUV veered into the Oldsmobile carrying Jacqui and the others. Two passengers in the car were killed at the scene and two were rescued.

Within minutes, the car caught fire. Jacqui was pinned in the front seat on the passenger side. She was burned over 60% of her body; no one thought she could survive. But Jacqui lived. Her hands were so badly burned that all of her fingers had to be amputated. She lost her hair, her ears, her nose, her left eyelid and much of her vision. She has had more than 50 operations since the crash and has many more to go.

In June 2001 Reggie Stephey was convicted of two counts of intoxication manslaughter for the deaths of Jacqui's two friends. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $20,000. He cannot forgive himself for driving on that night drunk.


Email this article    Print this article

Comments on this Article
Sam, Banglore Wed, January-4-2012, 10:52
I will never drink and drive , even after drinking i wont go out of my room ...
Helen Joanne Howells, united ingdom Thu, March-8-2012, 3:51
Jacqui was a beautiful girl, extremely pretty. Since the accident, her life has changed drastically. she is very courageous, the way she carries on. Will the message ever hit home to not drink then drive? I stopped my ex partner from collecting my two young daughters and had a little bit to drink, i dont care about him, i wasnt putting my two yong children in a dangerous situation where god forbid, they could have been the victims. It meant breaking a Court access agreement, too bad, i will cross that bridge when i come to it. I read that jacqui is considering a facial transplant, such a beautiful brave girl, I wish Jacqui, all the very best and hope she finds happiness, again