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Why We Walk


In Memory of CarolAnne Sweeney

"On July 10, 2009, on Highway 105 in Montgomery County Texas, CarolAnne was killed when a drug impaired driver crossed 4 lanes of traffic, hitting her head on, and killing her instantly. According to a crash reconstructionist she didn’t have time to apply her brakes.

CarolAnne was 41 years old, a mother of 4 children ages 12, 11 and 7 yr old twins, wife to her kindergarten sweetheart, beloved daughter, sister and friend. A dedicated ICU nurse who stayed late at work that night to care for a critically ill patient. We wonder, what if she clocked out on time, she would still be here, but our family’s horror would have been passed onto another, it would have been their loved one, it would have been yours. On that night one individual made a decision to drive impaired, he didn’t decide who his victim would be but by driving impaired he increased the odds there would be a victim.

CarolAnne’s legacy must be how she lived and not only the tragic circumstances of her death.  She loved her family, and friends, an animal lover who brought home strays at a tender age which continued into adulthood. She had the most generous and giving heart, always intuitive to the needs of others. She was someone you could count on to lend a helping hand, or a listening ear. She loved to laugh; her face lit up.

Her children, Kaelyn, David, Maria and Ryan speak of her often and share stories. They describe her as “the best mom”. A mom who always gave a hug, a kiss and asked how your day was. She juggled a fulltime career as a nurse with attending their hockey games, beauty pageants, dance recitals, cheer practice, swimming lessons and play dates. All things that moms do but sadly were cut short for her children.… this was to never happen again. Because of her strong presence in her children’s lives, if even for a short period of time, her influence has lived on in her children. They have persevered through their grief and loss knowing they were the center of her world and that she would want them to achieve their goals, she would be so proud of the women and men they are today.

As sisters we were best friends. We talked daily despite the distance. The night before she died, we talked on the phone for a total of three hours, we talked, she ended the call to put her children to bed and called me back. We were planning a trip together with our families to Florida, we talked about our children’s achievements and things which at the time seemed unimportant and trivial. Little did I know the next time her caller ID appeared on my phone would be her husband to tell me --- Veronica, CarolAnne has been in a crash --- my response --- WHAT, HOW IS SHE --- his response --- SHE DIDN’T MAKE IT --- my world crashed.

The impact of this senseless tragedy on our family, her friends, coworkers and all who knew her is immeasurable. However, as long as we breathe, CarolAnne will have a voice. She would want us to tell her story and remember her. To tell you about the beauty and fullness of a life lost, to help you understand the impact of our loss from a senseless tragedy which was 100% preventable. We want you to know the smallest of details of who she was and hope that connection will help you relate to and empathize with our loss and thereby to join the fight with MADD and reach the goal of a future with No More Victims."

- Jim, Kaelyn, David, Maria and Ryan Sweeney & Veronica Dominic-Boucher, Jacques, Christian and Mathieu Boucher

Join Our Family at the New Jersey Walk Like MADD