It's been a week since a Waverly High School sophomore lost her life in a DUI crash on Highway 50 near the Platte River. A woman who police said was driving drunk hit a car head on, killing 15-year-old Alexandra Linscott and critically injured her mother.
The alleged drunk driver, 22-year-old Paige Seaton, was twice over the legal limit, according to officials, and has a prior DUI from Douglas County.
In the days since, a community has tried to heal after the loss of Linscott, who was a dancer at Motion 41 Dance.
“Alex was not only a beautiful and inspiring young professional dancer, but she was a vivacious full-of-life young person,” co-owner Susan Chowning said.
Chowning said the last week has been emotional for everyone.
“It's difficult, even as an adult, to understand why such a young life has to be taken,” she said.
She said the dancers are trying to focus on celebrating Linscott and are keeping her close with a pin to wear.
Chowning said losing a life to drunk driving is never easy “because it is senseless and an unnecessary way for people to lose their lives.”
Nebraska has a huge problem when it comes to intoxicated driving, said Chris Wagner, executive director of Project Extra Mile, which works to prevent drinking and driving.
“Nebraska is the second worst in the country as far as self-reported drinking-and-driving episodes,” he said.
Wagner said tougher legislation — like introducing new laws like the Dram Shop Law — could help prevent devastation like this.
“We have Dram Shop for minors, so if a minor goes out and hurts someone or kills someone, that business can be held responsible,” Wagner said, “We do not have that for adults.”
Mothers Against Drunk Driving also agree tougher legislation could help prevent accidents.
“MADD Nebraska is working in our communities to push for legislation and sentencing in our court system that holds impaired drivers accountable for their actions,” the organization said in a statement.
Seaton, facing felony motor vehicle homicide and DUI charges, is still in the hospital.