URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A family that was forever changed by a drunk driving crash is giving a big gift to UIUC police.
The university police department is thanking Jim Esworthy and the Journey Foundation for donating $10,000. It says those funds will go towards combatting drunken driving on campus and in the community.
According to UIUC police, the Journey Foundation was founded after Esworthy’s daughters, Jennifer and Jackie Esworthy, who were both killed by a drunken driver in 1997.
“Ever since, the Esworthys have been on a mission to prevent tragedies like the one they experienced,” the post says.
The Journey Foundation has been a wonderful partner for many years now, and we are beyond grateful for their work. It takes a tenacious and fiercely good-willed kind of person to turn a tragedy like what the Esworthys experienced and channel that energy into something beneficial for the community. It’s quite likely that lives have been saved because they were able to do that. We always say that we need our whole community proactively involved in public safety, and the Esworthys are one of the preeminent examples of what we can do when we work together.”UIUC Police Chief Alice Cary.
When asked what the funds will be used for, Patrick Wade with the UIPD answered that the department is looking at equipment needs related to DUIs. He says they’ve recently used Journey Foundation donations for body cameras and dash cameras.
“The video footage from those cameras are extremely valuable evidence when these DUI cases go to court for prosecution, and having reliable high-quality video of those incidents is imperative,” he says.