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M.A.D.D. Remembers Victims With Special Tree At State Capitol

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RALEIGH — A tree is being lit in downtown Raleigh Wednesday, but it is not the typical holiday evergreen.

This tree has nearly 1,600 lights, one for every person killed on North Carolina roads this year.

The white lights represent people killed in car accidents. The red lights represent people killed by drunk drivers.

Members ofMothers Against Drunk Drivingare also holding a candlelight vigil Wednesday night. The goal is to get people to remember their choices on the road can cost lives.

Missing from Thanksgiving dinner this year was Jeff Kulp's wife, Nancy.

Nancy Kulp was killed in a car crash in Raleigh caused by a repeat drunk driver on Christmas Eve 1998. She left behind her husband and two young daughters.

"It really hit me hard because I was there with the rest of my family, and someone was missing," Jeff Kulp said. "That's when it really hit me. For us, Christmas will never be the same."

Jeff and his daughter Lindsay were seriously injured in the accident. Time has healed the physical scars, but the emotional scars run deep.

"It's been a very rough experience, and it's been a very trying year since then," Kulp said.

And now, as Christmas approaches, Kulp wishes the drunk driver who is responsible for his wife's death had thought twice about drinking and driving.

"I'm not angry at him," Kulp said. "I'm angry at what he did, and how he could have prevented it just by taking the time and not getting behind the wheel."

*Amanda won the Broadcast Reporter of the Year award for the state from the North Carolina M.A.D.D. Chapter. The award recognizes the reporter and WRAL for the outstanding work they do in making drunk/drugged driving awareness and prevention a priority in news coverage.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Adrienne Traxinger, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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