Mom of Fil-Am killed by drunk driver pushes for stiffer DUI penalties

Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Sep 28 2017 10:45 AM

The drunk driver who killed 16-year old Filipino-American Jaelan Fajardo in February is now serving the maximum sentence for driving under the influence resulting in death. But the 8 to 20 years of jail time is not enough for Fajardo’s grieving mother.

“It is what it is. It's the law. But 20 years is not enough. My son’s life is worth more than 20 years and then after 8 years he is eligible for parole. So I have to attend to that just to make sure that he doesn’t get it that’s why the law needs to be changed here in Nevada to make it more strict for those offenders,” said Marcia Jonson.

David Fensch, 47 years old, was found guilty for driving under the influence. The arrest report states that Fensch had taken Xanax, had 4 alcoholic drinks, and did not remember the crash at all.

The fatal crash happened in the early morning of February 9th. Fajardo was on his way to school when Fensch plowed into the back of his vehicle.

“I didn’t really feel anything when he was apologizing, it’s too late. I think he was really sorry. He was crying at court. He really meant it. I think 4 times nag-attend siya ng impact panel ng DUI school he never learned his lesson. He just continued to offend until he killed my son,” said Jonson.

Fajardo’s mom said that life was never the same after her son’s tragic death.

“Home is the last place I wanna be because it’s so quiet and it’s just quiet and empty. I still cry everyday. I still get this anxiety and panic attack. My chest and my heart literally still hurts a lot,” she said.

Jonson is pleading for a stronger penalty on DUI and repeat offenders. She is asking Nevada legislature to sponsor a bill, calling the proposed law the “Jaelan Law” to increase DUI penalties.

“Jaelan's Law” proposes that first time offenders spend a minimum of 1 year jail time, increased fines, and for an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

It also proposes for 2nd offenders to have a minimum of 3 years jail time, license revoked, impact panels, and that DUI offenders should be registered similar as sex offenders.

She added that in this age of ride share and taxis, too many lives are lost because of the leniency of laws in regards to DUI. She said thousands have suffered and lives were lost, including her only son, Jaelan.

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