Survivor of Drunk-Driving Crash to Speaks to SD Students about Importance of Making Good Decisions
PIERRE, S.D. Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that high school students across the state will have an opportunity next week to witness a compelling presentation called Living Proof sponsored by Anheuser-Busch wholesalers as part of the company’s commitment to fighting underage drinking and drunk driving.
Living Proof is presented by Sarah Panzau, a two-time member of the National Junior College Athletic Association women’s volleyball All-America team. Poor choices can have drastic consequences, but if you learn from your mistakes, the end result can be positive – and Panzau is Living Proof.
In the early morning hours of Aug. 23, 2003, Panzau’s car – and her life – spun out of control. With a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit, the 21-year-old decided to drive home drunk, missed a highway exit and rolled her car four times. Without a seat belt, she was ejected through the rear window of her car, her left arm was torn from her body and she was thrown onto the roadway. The next thing she remembers, she was in the hospital being told that she had lost her arm. She remained hospitalized for several months and has endured more than 30 surgeries.
“As parents and educators, it is our responsibility to teach young people about the importance of respecting the law and making smart, responsible choices,” said Jackley. “Panzau is a powerful speaker and her message should help reinforce our ongoing efforts to combat underage drinking.”
Panzau knew what it was like to be on top of her game – and on top of the world. Somewhere between life as a competitively driven high-school athlete and the early years of college, she began heading down a destructive path. She found herself hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting more out of drugs and dangerous levels of alcohol than hitting the books and spiking a ball.
Panzau will recount the pattern of poor choices that finally caught up with her to students at 4 South Dakota schools. The tour kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 1, with a presentation to students at Brandon Valley High School. The tour is sponsored by Beal Distributing, Conkling Distributing and Ellwein Brothers Distributing.
Since 1982, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have invested more than $875 million in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to promote responsible drinking and prevent alcohol abuse. For more information on these efforts and the progress being made, visit www.beeresponsible.com.
Oct. 1 Tuesday
9:30 a.m. Brandon Valley High School
1:10 p.m. Hanson School District
Oct. 2 Wednesday
10:00 a.m. Lincoln High School
2:20 p.m. Roosevelt High School