Credit: Contributed

Kennedy Segars was on her way to making her dreams of becoming a lawyer come true with a full scholarship to Alabama State University when her life was tragically cut short. The 18-year-old freshman was killed by a drunken driver last week while visiting family in her hometown of Decatur, Ga.

Reports indicate that Segars was in the car with her father Oct. 13 at a red light in Decatur when another car going 70 mph hit her. Upon impact, Segars’ car tumbled several times, and ending up in an embankment then in a residential yard.

Segars was rushed to the hospital with severe brain injuries. She died two days later in the hospital. Her father survived.

“Til the day I die, it will still be a pain,” Kennedy’s father Marvin Segars said. “They took my baby at 18. This is just horrible. I don’t want nobody to feel this at all.”

The suspect has been reportedly identified as 52-year-old Reginald Stubb. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree vehicular homicide and DUI.

A vigil was held Wednesday for Segars at Decatur High School, where she graduated in May. Family, friends and the community gathered at the school’s football stadium. A GoFundMe account has been started online to help the family cover funeral costs.

Segars’ death put a spotlight on the dangers of drunken driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, nearly 30 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes every day. Drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the past three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and approximately a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver. In 2016, young drivers, 16-24 years old, made up 39 percent of drivers involved in fatal alcohol-impaired crashes.

“A driver’s judgment and ability to react are both impaired when driving high, but many drivers don’t realize that it’s dangerous and illegal,” said Heidi King, NHTSA deputy administrator. “Driving either drunk or high is a DUI; impairment is impairment.”

King added that dangerous actions such as speeding, which killed Segers, are putting families at risk on the road.