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Mark Madeja
Senior Specialist, Public & Government Affairs
O: (918) 748-1074
C: (918) 935-9318





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Leslie Gamble,Manager, Public & Government Affairs

Mark Madeja, Sr. Specialist, Public & Government Affairs





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89 Tulsa County Drunk Driving Victims Remembered with

Tree of Life

AAA Recognized for Preventing Driving Under the Influence


December 21, 2018 – Tulsa County Stop DUI Task Force and partners including AAA Oklahoma gathered around 89 wrapped gifts under a large decorated tree at Woodland Hills Mall’s center court as a stark reminder of local lives lost to drunk driving.

Families of victims of Tulsa County drunk drivers and traffic safety advocates gathered for the Tree of Life lighting ceremony Tuesday


“Since 2014, 89 lives have been lost to drunk driving in Tulsa County alone,” said Cpt. Erik Smoot, Oklahoma ABLE Commission. That’s 89 empty chairs at holiday dinner tables – 89 gifts that will not be opened this year, solely because someone made the choice to drink and drive.”


During a tree lighting ceremony Tuesday, AAA Oklahoma received recognition for outstanding efforts in 2018 to raise awareness to the deadly costs of poor decisions to drive after drinking alcohol and to urge those celebrating to choose alternatives like ride shares, designated drivers, staying at the house of the party or making the hard call to a friend or family for a ride. “While it might not be a happy conversation, it’s better than a knock at the door from a police officer,” said Mark Madeja, AAA Oklahoma spokesperson.

AAA Oklahoma's Jared Peterson (l) and Mark Madeja (r) accept the 2018 award for efforts to reduce deaths on roadways due to drunk drivers.


Misty Thomeson, whose daughter who was six month pregnant was killed in a crash in north Tulsa this summer, shared her emotional story of the pain victim’s families face due to a driver’s alcohol-impaired decision to drive.


AAA Oklahoma warns, if you feel differently, you’re going to drive differently. Three died in alcohol-related crashes on Oklahoma roads during the Christmas through New Year’s holiday period last year, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Fourteen were seriously injured.





AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 59million members nationwide and nearly four hundred thousand members in Oklahoma.AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.For more information,


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