KENT COUNTY, Mich.- Angel Howell has a hard time getting out of bed sometimes.
“I cry when I wake up, I cry when I go to sleep,” she said.
Her daughter, 15-year-old Krysta Howell, was killed in May after getting into a vehicle with a drunk teenage driver after a graduation party.
The vehicle flipped and crashed on I-196 near Chicago Drive in Grandville, killing Howell and her Wyoming Park classmate Timothy See, 17.
“I still have her backpack in the same spot she left it,” said a tearful Howell.
Although her heartache will never go away, she’s turning her family tragedy into a meaningful cause.
Howell recently started Krysta Kares Awareness, a non-profit aimed at steering teenagers away from things like drinking and driving and putting the focus back on family and community.
“Not just talk, but action,” she explains.
“To help our kids have a better environment , steer them away from drugs and alcohol.”
She’s using Facebook and fun events to raise money and get the word out.
On Saturday, a small crowd of her daughter’s classmates and community members gathered at The Muze in Grand Rapids for a karaoke-style celebration. It’s a small step, but an important one for the family.
“This just started, we’re going to be all over because I’m not going to give up on anybody,” said Howell.
The driver in the drunk driving crash, 18-year-old fellow Wyoming Park student Takunda Mavima, was sentenced to at least two and half years in prison. He pleaded guilty to drunk driving causing death and offered a tearful apology to the victim’s parents in the courtroom.