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The faces behind the stories: Meet the victim advocates trying to stop drunk driving

Posted at 8:01 PM, Mar 20, 2019

The Project Drive Sober Team attended Lobby Day in Madison to meet advocates for stricter OWI laws.

The advocates are those who have been affected by drunk driving. Here are their stories:

Caralee Butzine and Marla Hall
Marla Hall lost her son Clenton, Clenton's fiance Katey Pasqualini, and their co-workers Kim Radtke and Patrick Wasielewski, in the fall of 2016. They were hit by a wrong-way drunk driver on I-94 just east of Madison. Hall and her sister, Caralee Butzine, launched the website, Eliminate Drunk Driving, in an effort to raise awareness about the effects drunk driving can have on families and why they think Wisconsin OWI laws need to be tougher.

Claudia Church and Dawn Church
Hannah Abagail Mae Church, 16, of Fort Atkinson passed away October 7, 2016. She and her friend were on their way back home from a haunted house in Janesville when a truck hit them head on. The 28-year-old truck driver, Robert Frank, had a blood alcohol content of .134 percent, nearly twice the legal limit. Church and Frank were killed in the crash. Church's friend suffered severe injuries but survived.

Diane Urban, Laura Rosol-Hibbler, Gracie Mae Johnson and Donna Johnson
David Rosol, 82, and the family's close friend, Hazel DeWitt, 83, were killed when a drunk driver ran a stop sign and crashed into their vehicle. The crash happened December 17th, 2017, near Shiocton. The driver, Joseph Konetzke, had a blood alcohol content of .262, more than three times the legal limit.

Serena Ballman
Serena Ballman's son Thomas was killed in a drunk driving crash the day after Thanksgiving, 2009. The drunk driver, Scott Shallcross, admitted drinking wine at dinner that night then drinking at various bars with a friend. Ballman and his friend, Jeremy Neuenfeldt, were less than a block from Ballman's home on Milwaukee's south side, when Shallcross hit them. The car burst into flames. Neuenfeldt died in the car and Ballman was thrown from the vehicle and killed.

To follow along with Project Drive Sober's live blog in Madison, click here.