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Iwaniec DUI Awareness Event

The dangers of Impaired Driving. That was the message at West Branch Area High School on Tuesday as Students heard from the parents of a victim who was also a State Trooper. During the speech Tuesday, the Iwaniec family said that there have been more than 170,000 DUI-related deaths over the last sixteen years. They spoke to the Students at West Branch High School specifically about one of those, their son Kenton, who was killed by an impaired driver in 2008 while driving home from work.

On March 27th 2008, State Trooper Kenton Iwaniec finished his shift in Chester County and began to drive home. His parents say it was late at night, and they got a call that an impaired driver came across lanes and hit their son’s vehicle head-on. He passed away in the hospital from the injuries the next morning. They say the woman who was driving had a blood alcohol concentration level more than four times the legal limit. She was also high on Oxycodone.

His mother, Debra Iwaniec saying: “Every decision that you make has an impact for a lifetime and we just want them to really stop, think things through, and make smart choices.” Debra and her husband Ken told their son’s story to Students at West Branch Area High School on Tuesday morning. They say this was one of four stops they have made over the last two weeks, as they try to educate teenagers about how driving isn’t just about themselves, it’s about everyone else on the road as well.

She says one girl even wrote to them after their speech that she wanted to be as good of a person as their son Kenton was. Debra saying: “We had one little girl slip out a piece of paper and hand it to us and it was ‘you’ve made a difference in my life, I want to be just like your son.” Debra continued: “The last High Schools that we spoke at, High School Students even took the time to get onto our website and send us emails, which is just absolutely beautiful afterwards, I mean how many High School Students want to do that? They’re just heartfelt and they’re lovely and we’re grateful.”

As Summer begins for all the High Schools in our area, West Branch Principal Brandy O’Hare says that it’s important that her Students hear this message about how dangerous impaired driving is. School Officials hope hearing from the Iwaniec’s on Tuesday will also help them understand how lives can change in an instant. This after they say there have been two deaths in their School District this past year. O’Hare saying: “This kind of goes hand-in-hand that in general we, as a School District, look out for the safety of all of our Students and it’s an ongoing education that we want them to make good decisions, and to set goals for themselves, and then hopefully we never have to be in this situation.”

The Iwaniecs say that they found out that many Police Departments don’t have any breathalyzers, and it became part of their goal to get more for Law Enforcement Agencies. So far, they say they’ve been able to give out more than 2,800 to different Agencies across the State.

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