Movie Review: “One Fatal Mistake”
By Wendy Situ, 17
One Fatal Mistake is a documentary based on a real-life drunk driving catastrophe that took place in Long Island. A drunk driver named Sophia Santos made the poor decision of getting behind the wheel after drinking at the bar. Sophia Santos was only 20 years old at the time of the accident and only had her learner's permit, meaning that she wasn't even of legal age to drink and was not supposed to drive without appropriate supervision. Santos's poor judgment about driving even with a blood alcohol level of .24 took away the life of beloved sister, mother, and grandmother Virginia Casazza Urgo, who was returning home after celebrating her 62nd birthday. There were four other people in the car along with Virginia Casazza Urgo; all were injured and two were severely injured. Virginia Casazza Urgo's family was left to suffer the consequences of Sophia Santos's fatal mistake.
It was heartbreaking to see Virginia Casazza Urgo's beloved grandchildren recounting the distress they felt at the loss of Virginia's life. Though the featured grandchildren didn't cry in the documentary, viewers could tell based on their mournful expressions just how shattered the family had become after the accident. Victims of drunk driving accidents were also featured to tell their heart-wrenching stories.
The documentary also featured speakers from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), an organization that tries to prevent drunk driving and provides a resource for those who have been affected by a drunk driving accident. (MADD started the “designated driver” concept.) Culprits of drunk driving admitted to getting behind the wheel, even while knowing they were under the influence, because they claimed to still be aware of their surroundings. One of the culprits confessed that, "When I have driven drunk, it wasn't an impulse; it was a conscious decision".
This documentary is filled with painful truth. As a teenager myself, I have heard of many warnings against drunk driving and I admit to dismissing such warnings because I always believed that it will never happen to me. But this documentary shows that anyone and everyone could be a victim of such a tragedy. The scariest part about drunk driving accidents is that the victims never see it coming.
During this time of year when school is out and people are celebrating summer, graduations, and 4th of July, I worry about the number of drivers who may be carelessly drunk, who don’t even stop to think about the safety of others on the road. It is okay to have fun drinking alcohol and partying, but please: just be smart enough to find other means of getting home and be considerate of other drivers on the road. The most important point that I took away is that there is absolutely no excuse for driving under the influence. Think before you act and accidentally cause a fatal accident.
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