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* Update - now more than 120 operations.
more than 50 operations* since the crash.
DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE.
Reposted - yet again - because the message is still relevant. Do not drink and drive. Ever.
Update April 2019:
Jacqui Saburido, the woman whose disfigured face became a symbol of the dangers of drunk driving after she suffered horrific burns in a 1999 crash, has died, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. She died from cancer in Guatemala, according to CNN affiliate KXAN. She was 40...Recent photo, and news video, at CNN.
After the crash, Saburido became an advocate for the Texas Department of Transportation's anti-drunk-driving campaign, making numerous school appearances and using her startling appearance to drive home the dangers of driving under the influence. She also appeared on Oprah Winfrey's show twice."Even if it means sitting here in front of a camera with no ears, no nose, no eyebrows, no hair, I'll do this a thousand times if it will help someone make a wise decision," Saburido said during one of her many speaking engagements after the accident."This is part of my mission here on the Earth," she added in a video on the Faces of Drunk Driving site. "If this face and this body can help others, then why not?"