ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. – The new year will bring an immediate change at the Rockland County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
On New Year’s Day, Anastasia Tasia Karassik will take over as head of the local chapter, which works across Rockland to end to drunken driving, according to the office of County Executive Ed Day .
“Anastasia and her family suffered the most heartbreaking loss imaginable when their 13-year-old daughter, Larisa, was killed by a drunk driver on Memorial Day weekend 2015," said Day in a statement congratulating Karassik. "The Karassik family and the Larisa Karassik Foundation are determined to prevent future tragedies like the one that ended the life of a beautiful, promising young girl who had so much to live for."
Larisa Karassik, 13, of New City, and a friend were sitting in the back seat of a car driven by her father Bruce Karassik when the car was hit by truck on May 23, 2015, according to the Larisa Karassik Foundation’s website . Bruce Karassik and the friend were injured in the crash. Larisa was killed.
The driver of the truck, a 42-year-old man, also died in the crash. It was later determined that he had been driving while drunk and under the influence of prescription drugs .
Begun a short time later, the Larisa Karassik Foundation has advocated for and vocally supported numerous campaigns to end drunken and drugged driving.
As head of the local chapter, Karassik will work with Rockland County STOP DWI, STOP DWI New York and the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office to educate people about the dangers of drunken driving, according to Day’s statement.
County officials used the occasion of the Karassik announcement to make another push to end drunken driving – particularly during the New Year’s holiday, a time when many people drink.
Day’s office urged people headed out to celebrate to first visit STOP DWI New York to download the Have a Plan app , which enables users to instantly access local taxi companies and create designated driver lists.