|No New Drunk Driving Victims Added to 2021 MADD Vigil|
|By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff |
03:00PM / Monday, December 06, 2021
The annual vigil is held in cooperation with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — No county residents fell victim to the deadly consequences of drunk driving this year but that doesn't discount all who have been lost in the past.
On Sunday, the Berkshire District Attorney's Office held its annual candlelit vigil at First United Methodist Church to remember victims of impaired driving in cooperation with the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD.)
The event honored 53 county residents while raising awareness in hopes of preventing further tragedies.
District Attorney Andrea Harrington was relieved to announce that there were no new names added to the list this year.
"Luckily, this year, we do not have new names to add to this year's program, and it is my hope that this event serves as a reminder to all of us into our community, how important it is to drive responsibly," she said.
Harrington added that her office, the State Police, and local law enforcement have zero tolerance for impaired driving and were aggressively enforcing laws.
The Ferrell family attends the vigil yearly to honor Lindsey Ferrell, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2002 at the age of 16. They also lit a candle for Darrell Burnett, who also died in the crash.
In addition to being a Wahconah Regional High School cheerleader, Ferrell was an active member of her community.
She worked part time with the Central Berkshire Youth Action Alliance, a peer education program of the American Lung Association, and was leading a project to create smoke-free playgrounds in Dalton at the time of her death.
Ferrell's family honors their daughter's life with charity work.
They coordinate a yearly scholarship at Wahconah in her memory and have donated more than $16,000 in that program alone. The family also supports various charitable causes and holds annual spaghetti dinners as well.
"I want to keep her memory alive," her mother, Mary Ferrell, said. "Because her life really meant something."
The vigil also included poem readings from Youth Advisory Board member Aiden Hyatt and Chair Ben Heim and musical stylings from pianist John Sauer.
DA Community Engagement Director Bryan House reminded families of those lost that victim advocates are available for information, questions and resources regardless of case status.
"We know that the unimaginable impact and trauma experienced by the loss of a loved one by motor vehicle homicides is lifelong," House said.
Below are the names of the victims who were remembered at the ceremony. State Police Lt. Stephen Jones lit a candle for each person as their names were read aloud and projected on a screen.
North Adams Police Officer George O. Angeli
Clinton S. Brown
Charles "Chuck" Cleveland
Keith Robert Ramsdell
Thomas Sachetti Jr.
Scott Michael Steinman
Robert Michael Voghel
Rebecca Marie Williams
Donald T. Langer