Donna Curley was beautiful and smart – someone everyone admired. Donna was the type of person everyone wanted to be friends with – her smile would light up any room. At age 22 – she had everything going for her- a family that deeply loved her, many great friends, a long-time boyfriend and an accounting career in New York City with one of the large firms. She had so many dreams and much to look forward to …until a drunk driver “stole” her from us. We miss Donna everyday – her parents will never be whole again after loosing their precious daughter and her brother Tommy and I, sister Beth have lost a part of our future without Donna by our side.
Navidad Serano was a 68-year-old repeat drunk driving offender – who no longer even had a license. As with most drunk drivers, he was selfish and irresponsible – and the night he killed Donna – only cared about the next bar he was going to…
Donna was in the state of Florida on a business trip and was on her way home from dinner with a co-worker, Jeff Sheets. Jeff was only 25 years old and from Long Island and Donna enjoyed working with him. As they were on their way home from dinner that May 19th, Jeff was driving – neither one of them had been drinking and both were wearing their seat belts – they were making a left turn at a green light. The drunk driver plowed into the side on their car, then their car crashed into another car driven by three teenage girls. The crash left Donna and Jeff’s car reduced to 18 inches from door to door - both died within minutes of the crash – Donna’s cause of death was called internal blunt trauma – which was explained to us that she was hit so hard her insides exploded. The three teenage girls all had very serious injuries and the drunk driver broke his jaw. His blood alcohol level was a .32 and he was later sentenced to 20 years in prison. Never once did he have remorse or apologize to any of the families.
Since the time of Donna’s devastating death – her mother Joan and sister Beth have told their story to area high schools and colleges before prom and graduation time. They also speak at the Orange County Stop DWI Victim Impact Panel each month to the DWI offenders that have been ordered there from the courts. It is their way of trying to keep a family from going through what their family goes through every day since Donna has died.
Donna’s family has very special memories of Donna that they will always hold close to their heart – the drunk driver couldn’t take their love away – but as most of you understand – there will always be that hole in their hearts – it’s a pain that never goes away. With every happy occasion in their lives – there is a sadness that Donna is not with them to celebrate the weddings, births and holidays! Her nieces and nephews will understand what an incredible woman their Aunt Donna was and that they always have a very special angel looking after them.
Donna’s family will continue to honor Donna’s memory by speaking to drunk driving offenders and making them understand that the impact of their action can devastate a family forever.