PHOENIX (KSAZ) - As more and more wrong-way driving crashes happen in Arizona, one mother is keeping track of all of them, and posts every time there is one in the state, on a Facebook page.
Deb Scarlett's page is dedicated to her son, Chris Ruiz, who was killed in the early morning hours of January 10, 2016, by a wrong way driver in North Phoenix.
Scarlett has been on a crusade ever since that fateful day. She said Ruiz, who was her only son, didn't have a chance as he drove on the Loop 303 in the early morning of January 10th of last year.
"I can't imagine what it feels like to see a vehicle speeding towards you," said Scarlett. "My son was trapped in the HOV lane or the third lane, by a semi to his right."
Scarlett remembers that horrible day when she got the phone call that her son had been killed by a drunk driver who was going the wrong way on the Loop 303. Nowadays, Scarlett is on a mission.
"Reminding Governor [Doug] Ducey and reminding John Halkinsky at ADOT that I'm still here, and I lost a child," said Scarlett. "He was the first person to be killed in 2016, and he's now one of so many other families that have gone through this."
Scarlett fought to get a law passed in the Arizona Legislature that would create "Buddy Alerts", so named because "Buddy" was Ruiz's nickname. It would establish a protocol where ADOT's overhead signs would warn other drivers that a wrong way driver was on the freeway, and give them a chance to get off.
"There were multiple 911 calls before my son was murdered," said Scarlett. "So had he had the opportunity to see an alert, he would be able to exit the expressway, and I wouldn't be sitting here, talking to you."
The state legislature didn't pass the "Buddy Alert" law, saying ADOT already does that. Scarlett, however, is continuing her crusade on Facebook page, which is called "Drunk driving kills and ruins lives".
Drunk driving kills and ruins lives Facebook page