Selena Mascarenas, a 14-year-old girl from Alamosa, Colorado, was killed on April 18, 2012, when 37-year-old Gilbert Sanchez, who was drunk at the time, crashed into the vehicle she was riding in, reports the Pueblo Chieftain. Two additional teenagers died in the crash. Although Sanchez was sentenced to 68 years in prison, the source states that the family decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit in an effort to further spread the message that "drunken driving has serious consequences." 

On Friday, October 18, the plaintiffs were awarded $2.5 million in noneconomic damages and $2.5 million for punitive damages in Pueblo District Court.

"Old people die with their achievements, reputations and memories, but the graves of children are filled with opportunities that were never realized and dreams that will remain unfulfilled," personal injury attorney Keith Vance said to Judge Jill Mattoon, as noted by the Valley Courier. "Damages speak in terms of loss of aid, comfort, society, love and companionship. But to me, this is just the law's way of saying what we are to consider in placing a value of a child's unfulfilled dreams."

If one of your family members has died as a result of a business or individual's reckless or negligent behavior and you live in Missouri, consider finding a personal injury lawyer in Kansas City who will work hard on your behalf. These experienced and locally based professionals can assess your claim, try your case in court and help you recover damages to which you may be entitled so you can move forward from a tragic situation.