Red ribbon drive for victims of DUI crashes

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A simple act, tying a red ribbon to police cars is one of the many ways Don and Collette Langford remember their daughter, Summer. 

"She very much wanted to be a police officer. She went to the academy. Graduated 4th in her class. She was assigned to Patrol West," says her dad, Don. 

Summer was a young officer, just 25 years old.

"She was on her way home. She was still in uniform and she was hit by a drunk driver," says Don. 

The CDC's latest reports from Kansas show more than 1,200 people were killed in drunk driving crashes between 2003 and 2012. 

Summer died in the early hours of October 11, 1997. Now, 22 years later, her picture still hangs in Patrol West. 

"We have this image of police officers of being above this or beyond it. They're the ones that protect us... It never, ever occurred to me that something would happen outside of that. I always thought the danger zone was on duty and not off duty," says Don.

Holidays are hard for the Langfords without Summer, but they choose to remember her by volunteering with the DUI Victims' Center of Kansas and by spreading red ribbons to honor the lives lost and to remind drivers to think before getting behind the wheel. 

"Appreciate the life you have because you may lose it tomorrow, tonight or on your way home," says her mom, Collette. 

You can look for the ribbons across Kansas from now until January.

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