Friday, October 18, 2013

Benefit to honor memory of woman killed by drunk driver

NEW HAVEN - It has been two decades since a drunk driver killed Julia Coppola, and this week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving will be honoring her memory.
Coppola’s daughter, Michelle Lettieri, is the director of victim services for MADD Connecticut, which is based in East Haven.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the fatal crash, the public is invited to a fundraiser and dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. at Anthony’s Ocean View, 450 Lighthouse Road, New Haven.
“It is a way to keep her memory alive and remind people of the devastation caused by drunk driving,” Lettieri said.
The state dedicated Townsend Avenue the “Julia (Nana) Coppola Memorial Highway,” years ago in Coppola’s memory.
“We have had memorial dinners before, but not since the naming of the road, which was about five years ago,” Lettieri said. “My mom was caring, loving, a friend to all, a mother to all, and an all-around special person.”         
Money raised will go toward victim services, youth education and public awareness, according to Lettieri.
The crash happened on Oct. 20, 1993 on Townsend Avenue in New Haven. Coppola, 75, was the front seat  passenger in a car driven by Lettieri. A 17-year-old girl, Danielle McMorrow, was driving under the influence and crashed head-on into their vehicle. 
Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by calling MADD at 203-764-2566 in advance of the event.

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