Janakae Sargent was hit by a drunken driver in Lubbock back in 2006.
Just two months shy of her 21st birthday, Sargent was third-year student at Texas Tech studying pre-veterinarian medicine. Sargent was the designated driver for her friends that tragic night.
Sargent's mother, Kandi Wiley who is now a resident of Temple, shares her daughter's story to whoever will listen. She said she hopes her words help at least one person make a smart decision to not drink and drive.
"It's been the hardest ten years without her," Wiley said.
For the past decade, there's been a emptiness in Kandi Wiley's life.
"When I talked to her that last time, I told her "you should just go home," and she goes, "chill out, Madre. College life just starts at this time. It's all golden," Wiley added.
At the end of that conversation, Janakae's mother asked her to call her in the morning. But, instead of receiving a call from her daughter...
"My next phone call was from the hospital at 2:44 a.m that she was in their surgical ICU on life support," Wiley said.
That was the phone call no parent ever wants to receive...but there was more. The 48-year-old driver that slammed into Janakae's truck was drunk. She was driving more than 100 mph and passing other vehicles.
The woman died at the scene and autopsy results indicated her blood alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit.
"How dare someone older than me make such a poor choice while my twenty-year-old daughter and her twenty-one-year-old friends were making the right choice," Wiley added.
Sargent's mother was by her side the whole time, and when the time came, she told her daughter "everything was going to be okay, and she could go be with God."
Sargent was buried the day before Thanksgiving in 2006, and her family has not been together to celebrate the holiday since.
Months after Janakae died, her mother found a poem written by her daughter seven years before the deadly crash. The poem was titled "Life," and it was almost identical to the details of the crash that took her daughter's life.
The last line says...
"But, I didn't drink and drive, and I wouldn't let my friends. So why am I to be the one, who will never walk again?"
"I miss her, and I love her to the moon and stars and back. I share her story as often as I can. If one person makes better choices then reliving this time and time again is worth it," Wiley said.
Wiley was chosen to speak at TxDOT's "Plan While You Can" kickoff event to promote safe and smart driving before students head off to spring break.