Sladen Strong: family and friends of Sladen Mohl use tragedy to raise awareness against drunk driving
The group hopes to create awareness, education, and legislation against impaired driving
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s been over a year since Anchorage’s Sladen Mohl was tragically killed by a drunk driver in southern California while attending college. Monday, a small group of friends and family met at the Anchorage overlook near the Glen Alps parking lot to dedicate a bench in Mohl’s honor.
“I hope people can sit on this bench look out over the view, reflect on the tragedy that happened, and actions they can take to prevent (another tragedy),” Jonny Homza said.
Homza grew up playing baseball with Mohl in South Anchorage along with Parker Johnson.
“Part of the memorialization is making people aware of the tragedy that happened, trying to prevent it from happening again,” Johnson said.
A small group of childhood friends and Mohl’s family members helped construct the bench. A different bench was built on Blueberry Loop Trail in Mohl’s honor as well; both have a plaque with Mohl’s story.
“Take responsibility for your actions, hold yourself accountable, and hold your friends accountable,” Jonson said. “It’s never been easier to not get behind the wheel impaired.”
The group building the benches goes by the slogan ‘Sladen Strong’ and plans to build two more at Abbott O’Rabbit Little League and South Anchorage High School. On top of awareness, they are working with the Anchorage School District to educate students on the dangers of underage drinking and driving.
Mohl’s mother Kelly Holter has worked closely with Mothers against Drunk Driving and says they’ve talked with local lawmakers to work on legislation that would eliminate loopholes in laws against impaired driving.
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