A young woman who lost her entire family in a drunk driving crash is fighting to make a local highway safer.
But as 5 On Your Side learned, the changes she's calling for may never come.
Destiny Mantia of Foristell was only 21 when she lost her infant son Parker, and husband Corey in a drunk driving crash near Hawk Point on Highway 47. Her tragic story went viral.
But it's only now that Mantia said she's been able to bring change to the area where she lost her family. A little stretch of Highway 47 between Hawk Pointe and Troy.
You'll never find her there. Except maybe, to lay her eyes on the new memorial marker erected in tribute to her son and husband.
"So many memories come back flooding," said Mantia, standing by the side of Highway 47 Wednesday.
The sign is a poor substitute for the family Mantia lost just up the road in September 2014.
"MoDOT says they don't usually put things like 'don't drink and drive' but they felt it was important and allowed that to be on the sign," said Mantia.
The driver of the other vehicle involved in the Mantia crash died. Since then, making this stretch of highway safer has been as important to Mantia. But it's been slow work.
"I just don't feel it's a priority to them," said Mantia.
Since at least June, MoDOT has been telling 5 On Your Side that safety improvements need to be made on that stretch of highway. But nine months later, they say no improvements have been implemented and they don't know if they'll ever have the money to follow through on any improvements.
According to a MoDOT spokesman, they'll need at least $5 million to add 4-foot shoulders, and straighten out the highway's sharp 'S' curves.
"There's times you do need to get out of the way and there's just nowhere for you to go but a ditch," said Mantia. "There's not a lot of room on the road. People come by speeding real fast. It's a road with a ton of big cars."
With the future of the road uncertain, Mantia focuses her time on preaching against drinking and driving, and using that work to honor the memory of her late family.
"For my husbands birthday, we did random acts of kindness and walked around Walmart and handed mom's bouquets of flowers to brighten their days. We are starting a school supply drive. I want to help [my son] impact the rest of the world, the rest of our community," said Mantia.
Mantia is hosting a school supply drive this year. More information can be found here and below:
This year with 🎈Parker's 4th Birthday 🎈 we are starting a ✏️School Supplies Drive ✏️ in honor of this sweet angel 👼🏻 being able to start preschool! All of the School Supplies will be donated to local Crisis Nurseries, Children Hospitals and Schools! We will be opening this up until June 23, 2017 which is Parker's actual birthday!
PO Box 252
Foristell, MO 63348
Things that are needed:
-Book Bags 💼
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