~In Memoriam of Wendy and Kimberly Sands~.............

“The program is not about any one person. It's about everyone.” SGT. SCOTT PATTERSON San Bernardino Police Department

By Gina Tenorio

Staff Writer

Sherry Sands circled the twisted remains of the Ford Escort a couple of times.

“This is the first time I've been out with the car,” Sands said. “It's still hard”

On June 10, 2000 the car carried her daughter Wendy Sands, 26 and her granddaughter Kimberly, 6, as the returned to their Hesperia home form a child's birthday party.

“It should be parked in my garage,” Sands said. “And my children should be in their beds.”

Instead, the car's mangled remains were in a display case that was mounted onto a trailer. And parked in front of San Bernardino City Hall on Monday. Destroying it and ending the lives of Sands' daughter and granddaughter were the act of Jason Dalby, a drunken driver.

The tragic display was part of the kick-off of Operation Safe Holiday Program a multi-departmental effort spearheaded by San Bernardino police that will feature safety checkpoints, low or no cost-cost cab rides and to-truck services to keep locals from drinking and driving.

The Escort was intended to be a somber reminder of what can happen when a person drives drunk, said San Bernardino police sgt. Scott Paterson, who leads the effort for his agency.

“For years as a patrolman, I would see (accidents) happen especially during the holidays.” Paterson said. “And I would talk to other officers who saw the same thing. Someone finally said, “We gotta do something about this.”

With help from several local law enforcement agencies, many represented Monday, organizers created a pool of local businesses that are donating their services.

While it is a team effort, San Bernardino Police Chief Garrett Zimmon was quick to point out that Paterson is the driving force behind this program.

“He has everyone involved,” Zimmon said. “He got Budweiser involved and a number of others”.

Paterson has scheduled an appearance of the Budweiser Clydesdale horses from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 18 Hospitality Lane . The beer company will drop off ODouls nonalcoholic beer to all the restaurants and bars it serves, Paterson said.

Paterson has a personal stake in the program because on Mother's Day 2000, his 18-year-old daughter was killed by a drunken driver.

Instead of discussing that incident, the sergeant gently changed the subject.

“This program is not about any one person,” he said. “It's not just about me. It's about everyone.”

Sands agreed. She participates in the program in the hopes that she will prevent others from experiencing the kind of pain she's endured.

Dalby had been on probation for a prior DUI conviction. He also had been to a DUI class earlier that day.

When he collided with the Escort, however, he and his friend were on a beer run. Dalby's truck was going 94 mph when he ran a stop sign and smashed into the small Ford.

Sands found out about the two fatalities while looking for her overdue daughter and granddaughter.

While out searching she came across the accident, and it was there that officers told her that Wendy and Kimberly would not be coming home.

It is of some consolation that Dalby received 15 years to life in prison for pleading guilty to two counts of murder, but Sands said she would rather have her family back.

“People ask me about losing my loved ones,” she said. “I know where they are. I know the cemetery I buried them in. I didn't lose them they were taken from me. They were murdered. And the pain is infinite it never stops.”

 


   

Help Stop

The senceless
waste of lives from people who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

 

 

More Articles

Wendy's Obituary

Kimberly's Obituary