It’s been nearly one year since a head-on collision on State Route 52 killed one driver and injured four members of a San Diego family.
The crash on March 17, 2013 killed Santee resident Matthew T. Leonardo, 30, and left Alisa Cunningham and her three daughters, Jayden, Logan and Taylor, with major injuries.
On Monday, the family spoke in front of students at Point Loma Nazarene University. They shared their story to warn them of the dangers of drunk driving.
“Wanted to let everyone know the severity of what can happen,” said Cathedral Catholic High School (CCHS) coach Will Cunningham.
After seeing a clip of the accident, the husband and father of four was clearly emotional.
At one point his daughter, Taylor, showed pictures of her recovery. She suffered two broken wrists, a fractured pelvis, a broken right hip and traumatic brain injury.
She was in a coma for 17 days and spent a total of 75 days in the hospital.
“Like tying your shoe is harder now, way harder and getting dressed, taking a shower...a lot harder,” Taylor Cunningham said.
Alisa suffered broken ribs, a traumatic brain injury, a partially severed foot, smashed left hand and bruises.
Logan, their youngest daughter, suffered lung damage, a fractured coccyx, deep lacerations and a concussion.
Jayden sustained a fractured neck, fractured scapula, deep lacerations and a concussion.
Nine days after the crash, Jayden and Logan were released from Rady Children’s Hospital.
NBC 7 spoke to student Sarah Leveque who said hearing the Cunninghams speak at her school had an impact on her.
“What hit me was how one bad decision can lead to such an incredibly bad situation,” she said.
On March 17th, the actual anniversary of the accident, Alisa Cunningham says they’re planning a celebration to thank those who’ve helped them through this difficult process.
Immediately after the crash, the CCHS and San Diego communities rallied around the family holding fundraisers and a special mass to support their recovery.