HomeCommunity IssuesCommunityDeath of Student Inspires Student Campaign to End Drunk Driving

Death of Student Inspires Student Campaign to End Drunk Driving

Ria Patel
Ria Patel

About 75 people gathered at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota to launch the Ria Patel Foundation, which aims to curb distracted and drunk driving, reports Eden Prairie News.

20-year-old Ria Patel, a junior student at the university, was the passenger in a car when her boyfriend, Michael Campbell, crashed his Ford Focus into a stoplight in September 2017. Ria was killed, but Campbell fled the scene and neglected to notify authorities, according to The American Bazaar Online. Patel was given medical care once police arrived on the scene, but it was too late. Campbell was sentenced to 52 months in prison last month, according to StarTribune.

St. Thomas student Aaron Cornelius admits that “ending drunk driving is like trying to boil the ocean.” That isn’t stopping him along with several students, including Patel’s sister Raveena, from launching an “It’s Your Move” campaign for the cause. Those behind the foundation intend to raise awareness by holding events, such as galas and 5-kilometer runs, and hand out merchandise in addition to online promotions.

The students’ initial goal is “No University of St. Thomas student dying in a drunk driving accident ever again,” according to the foundation’s website.


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