Nava family, local leaders work to shut down drunk driving

25-year old was killed by suspected drunk driver

Coachella, Calif. - Dozens of people touched by the death of Celena Nava came together in front of Coachella City Hall Wednesday, in a grass roots effort to stand up and take action against drunk driving.

Leaders, legislators and law enforcement joined friends and family of Celena Nava - the 25-year-old woman who was out jogging in Coachella when she was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver October 20th - and pledged to work to shut down drunk driving.

Orlando Nava is Celena Nava's older brother, and spoke on behalf of the family.

"Celena just was a caring person, always thinking about others," Orlando Nava said. "This is the least we can do for her to bring awareness to this problem. She was an innocent person, exercising. We're doing this for her."

Dr. Fargo Khoury worked with Nava at Eisenhower Medical Center. Khoury started the "Shutdown Drunk Driving" Facebook page that honors Nava, and has served to unite a movement against driving under the influence.

"You can see just in the couple of weeks that the community page has been up and running, there are several thousand people that are following," Khoury said. "All of which are family members, friends, people that knew her, people that she impacted."

Coachella Mayor Eduardo Garcia was compelled to organize the event to facilitate a larger discussion about the dangers of drunk driving in the Coachella Valley.

"We're looking forward to initiating a comprehensive dialogue to see how all sectors of our community can be engaged to have this conversation," Garcia said.

Julie Dominguez was with Celena on that fateful night. She also suffered the effects of an impaired driver, and came to the event in front of Coachella City Hall in a wheel chair.

Representative Raul Ruiz ended the event by calling on the community at large to join with law enforcement efforts to shut down drunk driving.

"It is time to stand up as one community across the whole valley and say no more," Ruiz said. "If we do not hold each other accountable, then we are all to blame."


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