Denver, CO- Jennifer Friede was a vocal marijuana activist, she spent much of her spare time trying to convince people that drinking was far more dangerous than smoking pot. She had no way of knowing that one day her death would prove what she has been trying to teach to others is such a poignant way. Friede was killed in head-on collision caused by a drunken driver late last month.
Friede, known around Denver as Jenny Kush, was a mother of four and desert chef, who devoted her time advocating for medical marijuana and sensible marijuana laws.
On Saturday, August 31st, Friede and her boyfriend Jeremy DePinto were driving home on Denver’s interstate 25 after attending a concert.
DePinto related the events that happened next to a group of friends gather to honor Friede. He said he saw a car coming towards them, “…you get a little blur, for a second, of disbelief,” according to the Denver Post.
He said he realized the vehicle was traveling in the wrong direction and was headed straight for their vehicle. He said he looked left and right, but he had nowhere else to go on the crowded freeway so he veered left only to have the other vehicle to veer in the same direction and they collided.
DePinto was seriously injured, but the collision killed Friede. Maez was also injured but not seriously.
The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was Rebecca Maez, 27, who was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and vehicular homicide. She was held in the Downtown Denver Detention Center on $800,000 bond.
Further investigation into Maez’s criminal history revealed that in 2009 she was arrested for drunken driving. She was also driving with a restricted license and has a previous charge of speeding in a construction zone.
DePinto talked of his girlfriend’s activism with Denver Post saying, “We’d rally at the Capitol the last Saturday of every month for years, trying to tell people that cannabis is safer than alcohol. It’s ironic that it was an uninsured drunk driver that killed her.”
This is indeed an ironic and tragic accident, especially for a young woman who worked hard to inform people of the dangers of alcohol; approximately one-third of all fatal accidents in the country are caused by intoxicated driving.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous, but given the choice, I know I would personally rather be hit by a stoned driver than a drunken driver. At least you know they would be traveling much slower. Drunken drivers are much more likely to speed and just like pot smokers, their reaction time in an emergency situation is much slower.
Regardless of whether a person has been drinking, smoking pot or taking methamphetamines driving under the influence is dangerous and can have severe legal ramifications, especially if it involves injury or death. Anyone facing a DUI charge, no matter the severity, needs legal representation to build a defense on their behalf a